Two lawmakers who took on the task of creating an Oklahoma-based
solution for increasing access to health care said a new report
commissioned by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) mirrors
many of the recommendations they had included in Senate Bill 640.
The Utah-based Leavitt Partners presented their findings on Thursday
to OHCA’s governing board. Sen. Brian
Crain, R-Tulsa, and Rep. Doug Cox, M.D., R-Grove, said the
report shows they were on the right track with their proposals.
Oklahoma leaders have steadfastly refused to expand Medicaid arguing
the plan would ultimately prove too costly for the state. However,
the state’s program to enable greater access to health care
insurance, Insure Oklahoma, could see its federal support eliminated
by the end of this year unless OHCA receives a waiver for continued
funding. The Leavitt Report recommended modifying Insure Oklahoma
as a way to increase access to health care.
“That was a key provision in SB 640. We finalized our proposals
in a Conference Committee, but the bill was not acted on by the
end of the 2013 session,” said Crain, Chairman of the Senate
Health and Human Services Committee. “Other recommendations
in the Leavitt Report mirror additional provisions in SB 640.”
Other conclusions reached by the Leavitt Report that parallel
SB 640 include:
- Emphasis on Health Homes
- Cost sharing (co-pay)
- Incentivized health outcomes
- 138% of Federal Poverty would be covered
- Utilizes the Insure Oklahoma structure
- Recommends negotiations with the federal government to keep
the current structure in place
- Incentives for positive health behaviors, such as using generic
prescription drugs and seeking appropriate care, etc.
“Insure Oklahoma is a program that’s helped thousands
of Oklahomans purchase insurance through a public private partnership.
This proven approach, rather than a government controlled exchange,
is the way to help more of our citizens increase access to health
care through the private market,” said Cox, Chairman of
the House Appropriations and Budget Committee on Health and Social
Services. “The Leavitt Study supports that approach.”