Oklahoma’s health care system is facing an unprecedented crisis.
- Oklahoma’s nonelderly uninsured rate (18 percent) is tied for second highest in the nation. Our health care system is already straining to deal with high numbers of uninsured patients.
- Without new revenue, Oklahoma will be forced to cut payments to SoonerCare providers by as much as 25 percent. SoonerCare rates have already been cut more than 13 percent since 2010.
- The proposed cuts threaten many rural hospitals and nursing homes with bankruptcy. Many other providers would stop accepting SoonerCare patients.
The Medicaid Rebalancing Act extends private insurance coverage in Oklahoma — not Medicaid.
- The Medicaid Rebalancing Act will use cigarette tax dollars and a more than 9 to 1 federal matching investment to bring private insurance to thousands of currently-uninsured Oklahomans through the successful Insure Oklahoma program. In 2019, the Act could shrink the Medicaid program further by moving some categories of current SoonerCare members into private insurance plans.
Accepting federal funds is proven to save state dollars, boost the economy, and increase access to care.
- Thirty-one states and Washington, D.C. have extended coverage using federal funds. Not one has reversed course.
- Extending coverage would be a budget win for Oklahoma. The 2013 Leavitt Report estimated that Oklahoma would net savings of more than $400 million over 10 years by extending coverage through Insure Oklahoma.
- Extending coverage has been shown to save state money by bringing federal tax dollars home. For the past three years, states that accepted federal funds to expand coverage saw state Medicaid spending grow more slowly than states that haven’t expanded.
- States that accepted federal funds report reduced uncompensated care costs and increased job creation. Their uninsured rates are substantially lower and their residents are more likely to receive important health screenings and diagnoses. The Arkansas program that uses federal funds for private coverage helped to increase competition in the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace and reduce insurance premiums.