McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State news

February 5, 2013

Dems. say take politics out of Okla. Medicaid plan

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

"Expanding Medicaid as proposed by the president would mean that a huge sum of money would be diverted from other priorities, like education and public safety, as well as existing health care programs," Fallin said.

She said the state already expects to enroll 60,000 Medicaid eligible Oklahomans in the next few years to avoid taxes and fines imposed by the health care law and she has proposed a $40 million increase for the state's Medicaid provider, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, to meet the costs of the additional enrollees as well as the rising costs of medical treatment and fixed expenses.

But Inman said he believes Fallin is overstating the costs and that the benefits of expanding Medicaid far outweigh any costs.

The Senate's Democratic leader, Sen. Sean Burrage of Claremore, said he believes it's a bad idea not to expand Medicaid and that more people need to become familiar with the issue.

"We are trying to raise public awareness," Burrage said. He said many Oklahomans who would become eligible for Medicaid under the proposed changes are not aware of Fallin's decision and its consequences to them.

Rejection of the Medicaid expansion plan has been criticized by hospitals and health officials who say the cost of caring for Oklahoma's uninsured already is falling on hospitals in the form of uncompensated care and leading to higher health care costs for the insured.

"I think it's disingenuous," Burrage said.

A group known as the Coalition for Medicaid Expansion plans to rally at the State Capitol on Tuesday. Organizers say they hope to attract as many 500 people to demonstrate support for expanding Medicaid.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State news
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.