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Oklahoma State Senate
Senator Patrick Anderson, R-Enid
(405) 521-5630

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For Immediate Release: April 17, 2008

Sen. Patrick Anderson
Sen. Patrick Anderson

Health Care Measures Could Be Catastrophic For State Budget

On Thursday, Senator Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, provided Senators with cost estimates he received from OSEEGIB (Oklahoma State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board) for an autism insurance mandate proposal and a proposal that has been referred to as the “Patients Bill of Rights.”

These estimates prepared by OSEEGIB, which manages the State’s health insurance plan which covers State employees and retirees, shows that the bills could have a “catastrophic” impact on the state budget.

The information distributed shows that a proposal to require insurance coverage for autism would cost the State insurance program $6 million. In regards to a proposed insurance mandate requiring coverage for any medically approved treatment, the actuary for OSEEGIB stated it could have a ‘catastrophic’ cost to the state insurance program, and affordability to participants could be jeopardized. (See attached documents.)

Anderson added he was concerned how the cost would impact state budgets and, “The cost to the private sector would likely be considerably greater.”

The OSEEGIB actuary information on these proposals had been previously prepared and provided to the Senate authors of the proposals, but had not been shared with the other Senate members.

Anderson applauded the efforts by the Legislature this year to look at health care issues.

“Members of both parties have been working on various aspects of these important measures and one of the factors we must consider when looking at these proposed health care mandates is the actual costs to the State budget and State employees, not to mention the costs to the private sector.”

Senator Anderson serves as co-chairman of the Appropriations Sub-committee for Human Services which oversees the state budget for several state agencies including the Department of Human Services. Anderson previously voted to help keep these measures alive for further discussion in the legislative process.

However, after reviewing actuary’s information Anderson said, “I am concerned that the price of the proposals to the State budget make them cost prohibitive.”

The insurance mandate proposals were attached to a bill earlier this week that will be sent to conference committee for further consideration.

For more information contact:
Senator Anderson's Office:  (405) 521-5630

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