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Oklahoma State Senate

Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: February 15, 2005

Senator Tom Adelson

Health & Human Resources Committee passes Senator Adelson’s
“Hospital Discount for Qualified Self-Pay Patients Act”

Fighting for the rights of the 703,000 Oklahomans who are without health insurance, Senator Tom Adelson won passage of a bill requiring hospitals to extend discounts for certain income eligible patients. Under the “Hospital Discount for Qualified Self-Pay Patients Act,” a family of four at or below 400% of the federal poverty level will not be charged more than the insured population for their hospital care.

One of the market failures of our current system of health care is that the uninsured – those least able to afford healthcare – are billed more. They don’t have discounts negotiated by insurance companies and government health care programs.

“My bill attempts to level the playing field between the insured and uninsured when it comes to the billing practices of hospitals. Uninsured patients are charged two or even three times higher than insured patients for the identical hospital service”, explained Adelson. “That’s not right.”

“Thousands of Oklahomans are self employed or working in small businesses which cannot afford to pay insurance premiums. They are one illness away from financial ruin.” He said. “This bill provides equity for those least able to afford exorbitant charges for health care.”

For more information contact:
Senate Communications Office - (405) 521-5774

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