Senator Mike Morgan
President Pro Tempore
For Immediate Release:
May 22, 2007
Senate Approves Plan to Provide Access To Health Care for More Children
The full State Senate gave final approval Tuesday to legislation
that will provide access to quality health care for more of Oklahoma’s
uninsured children. Senate Bill 424 now heads to the Oklahoma House
of Representatives where passage will send it to Governor Brad Henry
for his signature.
It is a major part of the 2007 Legislative Agendas of Senate Democrats
and the governor. It passed by a wide 41-7 bipartisan margin Tuesday.
Named the “All Kids Act,” the measure will 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
Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan credited Senators Tom Adelson,
D-Tulsa, and Brian 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,” said Senate
President Pro Tempore Mike 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 million, allowing the state
to draw down nearly $30 million in federal matching funds. The program
will be funded by revenue from the state’s tobacco tax, which
was increased by voters in 2004.
For more information, contact:
Senator Adelson's Office: (405) 521-5551
Senator Crain's Office: (405) 521-5620