For Immediate Release: March 8, 2007
Senator Mike Morgan
Senate Approves Plan to Provide Access To Health Care for More
The full State Senate gave approval Thursday to
legislation that will provide access to quality health care
for more of Oklahoma’s uninsured children.
Senate Bill 424 is a major part of the Senate
Democrats’ 2007 Legislative Agenda, but the measure was
presented on the floor by Republican Senator Brian
Crain. Crain co-chairs of the Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee
on Health and Social Services with Democrat Tom
Adelson, author of the measure.
The bill passed on a 28-14 vote with six Republicans
joining 22 Democrats in favor of the measure.
Named the “All Kids Act,” the measure
would increase the number of children eligible to receive Medicaid
benefits in the state by closing the gap between those children
presently receiving Medicaid benefits and those covered under
private insurance held by their parents.
According to a recent New York Times poll, the
majority of Americans (55 percent) believe ensuring healthcare
for all should be lawmakers top priority.
Senate President Pro Tempore Mike
Morgan credited both Adelson, D-Tulsa, and Crain, R-Tulsa,
for winning passage of the measure.
“By far the largest group among the uninsured
in our state are children who honestly fall though the cracks.
Their parents don’t make enough to afford health insurance
but make too much to be eligible for Medicaid. This legislation
will provide a bridge, giving these children access to quality
health care and allow them to lead healthy, productive lives,”
Morgan, D-Stillwater, said.
The “All Kids Act” would increase
Medicaid eligibility for children from 185 percent of the poverty
level to 300 percent – the maximum allowed by the federal
government. That will enable the state’s Medicaid program
to provide coverage for as many as 42,000 additional children.
Currently in Oklahoma, children whose parents
make $37,000 or less a year are eligible for Medicaid. Senate
Bill 424 would increase that income ceiling to $60,000 a year.
State costs to provide the additional coverage
are estimated at $8.5 million, allowing the state to draw down
nearly $30 million in federal matching funds.
For more information contact:
Senator Morgan's Office - (405) 521-5605