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Oklahoma State Senate
Senator Jim Wilson
Finance Committee Co-Chairman
Senate District 3
Adair, Cherokee and Sequoyah Counties

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For Immediate Release: February 20, 2008

Senator Jim Wilson
Sen. Jim Wilson

Senate Panel Approves Patients Bill of Rights Legislation

OKLAHOMA CITY-A Senate panel approved legislation Wednesday for a comprehensive Patients Bill of Rights that will allow Oklahomans enrolled in health care plans to get fair service and quality care for which they pay. 

Senate Bill 2114, authored by Senator Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, is part of the Senate Democratic “Vision for Oklahoma” agenda aimed at achieving affordable health care coverage for all Oklahomans and holding powerful insurance companies responsible to Oklahoma families. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

 SB 2114 directs any health plan offered, issued or renewed in Oklahoma to fully cover any health care treatment deemed by a health care professional to be medically necessary in order to treat a health condition, illness, injury or disease.

“It’s not the job of the state Legislature to protect the profits of the insurance industry,” Wilson said. “It’s our job and obligation to protect the interests of the citizens of Oklahomans.”

He went on to say, “This is not a partisan issue.  This is an issue of doing what is best for Oklahoma’s citizens. I find it conspicuous that the only no votes on this bill were made by Republicans. I wonder where their priorities are going to lay when it comes to protecting Oklahomans health.”

 Senator Wilson said in the 1990s the citizens of Oklahoma and the rest of the country struggled with HMO bureaucracies dictating treatment.

 “This decade we have insurance bureaucracies dictating treatment - when the expense is not in their best interest,” Wilson said. “It is past time we returned health care decisions to trained health care professionals - like it used to be. It’s time for powerful insurance companies to stop making record breaking profits on the backs of the sickest and most vulnerable Oklahomans.”

Dr. Timothy B. Mapstone, an Oklahoma City neurosurgeon, said he is in favor of Senator Wilson’s legislation.

“I am pleased to see that Senator Wilson has introduced a bill which assures the citizens of Oklahoma will have medically necessary treatment as determined by appropriate health care providers paid for by their insurers,” Dr. Mapstone said.

Senator Wilson said he knows he faces an uphill battle with his legislation.

“We predict, that just like in years past, insurance companies will come out of the woodwork to fight this bill,” Wilson said. “That’s why it’s critical we get support of every senator who is willing to take a courageous stand for those Oklahomans who deserve access to life-saving medical treatment.”

For more information contact:
Senator Ford's Office:  (405) 521-5574

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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