The 2014 Oklahoma Legislature, controlled by Oklahoma’s Republican
Party, cobbled together the budget for Fiscal Year 2015, basically
flat-lining the amount of monies that will be available to the
Oklahoma Health Care Authority! Why do they think they should expand
the budget for both the State Attorney General and Director of the
Oklahoma Insurance Division, then spend more state funds defending the
legislature’s unconstitutional laws and federal constitutionally sound
What this budget does accomplish is that it insures LESS health care
for tens of thousands of Oklahomans who don’t qualify for health
insurance coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act. By refusing to increase the budget to cover these additional
people who qualify for Medicaid (SoonerCare) under the ACA places
hospitals and medical clinics in Oklahoma in financial straits.
When Governor Fallin failed to expand SoonerCare under the Medicaid
guidelines of the Affordable Care Act, along with the Governor’s and
Legislature’s refusal to set up an Insurance Exchange, they doomed
Oklahoma’s medical system to failure.
Not expanding Medicaid automatically discontinues federal monies
portion that has currently been supporting 33% of Oklahoma’s
SoonerCare (Medicaid) payments to medical facilities treating those
without insurance. Without the financial support provided by these
federal funds, Emergency Rooms and Rural Health Clinics will not be
able to function to their normal capacity
As John Silva, CEO of Morton Comprehensive Health Services in Tulsa
Oklahoma so aptly stated: “Throughout the state, storm clouds gather.
The perfect storm is forming and Oklahomans are the architects. Health
care disparities grow in poor urban neighborhoods and rural
communities. Oklahomans have watched these events for many years and
we remain unmoved, preferring instead to allow others to influence
events and establish priorities.
We tacitly support continuation and expansion of millions of dollars
of corporate tax breaks for our most affluent industry, while silently
watching the collapse of our state’s infrastructure. We have signed
onto the mantra that corporate tax breaks for our energy industry will
somehow improve the quality of our lives, regardless of what our eyes
and the facts tell us.