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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: May 1, 2013

Sen. Brian Crain
Sen. Brian Crain

Legislators oppose Medicaid expansion, but support Oklahoma plan to continue premium assistance

Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, and Rep. Doug Cox, M.D., R-Grove, responded Wednesday to a recent press conference calling on the Legislature to follow the Affordable Care Act.

“A ‘one size fits all plan’ offered by the ACA is not the right approach for Oklahoma,” Crain said.

“When it comes to health care access, we need to offer premium assistance like Insure Oklahoma; the health care plan Oklahoma voters approved in 2004,” Cox said.

Crain and Cox stated that Insure Oklahoma could stop receiving federal support after December 31, 2013 unless the Oklahoma Health Care Authority receives a waiver for the use of federal funds. The two legislators have been exploring a plan similar to one signed into law April 23 in Arkansas that would allow low-income Oklahomans to receive premium assistance through Insure Oklahoma.

“We are currently discussing a waiver request for Insure Oklahoma that would provide federal support for premium assistance to low income applicants who are working, looking for work, going to school or caring for a child at home,” Crain said.

Insure Oklahoma is a public private partnership which helps eligible Oklahomans to purchase private insurance. With Insure Oklahoma, the employer and the employee join in purchasing health insurance in the private market rather than a government controlled exchange. Insure Oklahoma was approved by a vote of the people in 2004. That same year, the voters passed an increase on tobacco taxes to be allocated towards improving the health of all Oklahomans.

“We want working people and their families to have access to health care, and the private market is the best place for it,” Cox said.

For more information, contact:
Sen. Crain: (405) 521-5620

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