Lawmaker introduces bill to reform Oklahoma Health Care Authority instead of the Governor’s Medicaid expansion plan

Oklahoma Politics

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – One lawmaker has introduced a bill to put in an internal managed care system for Medicaid instead of outsourcing it. 

Earlier this year, Gov. Kevin Stitt announced a managed Medicaid program, which outsources management for those on Medicaid to four insurance companies.

Rep. Marcus McEntire’s bill wants to have the Oklahoma Health Care Authority reformed to manage Medicaid.

It reads in part: “The Oklahoma Health Care Authority shall implement the Oklahomans Caring for Oklahomans Act developing a program that controls costs and improves health outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries.”

The representative wasn’t available Thursday when we were looking to speak with him at the Capitol.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority is sticking with the governor’s plan.

“Our view is the superior alternative is to join with third party managed care organizations to assist us in accomplishing our commitment,” Kevin Corbett, CEO of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, said. “The managed care organizations, like any other health plan, will have providers in their network. But our members have the opportunity to be served by providers who aren’t in the network. They will be paid as a non-network out-of-network provider.”

He says developing a new program would be costly and take time.

“It has a significant amount of risk because of standing up and building a new organization internally certainly has a cost element to it,” he said.

Stitt released a statement that reads:

“It is irresponsible to use hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to require a state agency to create a program that already exists and is successfully implemented in 40 other states.

Oklahomans do not want to follow Joe Biden’s playbook and continue to grow a single-payer, government health care program that has led to Oklahoma ranking 49th in health outcomes.

Oklahomans want and deserve better, which is why SoonerSelect is the right path forward to improve the health of Oklahomans.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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