On Wednesday Senator Greg McCortney & Rep. Marcus McIntire began a 2nd consecutive bicameral interim study in as many years. Most insiders agree that the purpose is to soften up conservative resistance to Federal medicaid expansion in Oklahoma. McIntire said that the goal is "to make Oklahoma healthier". He claims that it's up to Oklahoma to take responsibility for their own healthcare. Let's see if that claim matches the recommendations that come from this group?
There is a move afloat to bring a petition to the people of Oklahoma to amend our state constitution, to enforce free healthcare as a 'constitutional right' that is due to all Oklahomans, regardless if it bankrupts the state and jeopardizes all other core public safety roles that state govt. serves.
The first meeting was titled "Healthcare 101" The governor's office is taking part in the meeting. We're including the web feed of the opening meeting, via YouTube.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Marcus McEntire
Phone: (405) 557-7327
Contact: State Sen. Greg McCortney
Phone: (405) 521-5541
Legislative Healthcare Working Group Holds First MeetingOKLAHOMA CITY – Lawmakers heard from representatives from the Oklahoma Department of Health and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority today as they begin the process of developing a legislative solution that will improve the state’s healthcare system.
The lawmakers are part of the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Healthcare Working Group created by House of Representatives Speaker Charles McCall (R-Atoka) and Senate President Pro-Tempore Greg Treat (R-Oklahoma City) to develop an Oklahoma-based solution for increasing access to healthcare and providing insurance coverage for more citizens. The working group held its first meeting today at the Capitol.
State Rep. Marcus McEntire, co-chair of the working group, said his hope is that the working group will first listen to all stakeholders from patients to providers, policy experts, insurance carriers, facilities and state agencies to find solutions to help state residents with their health care and insurance needs.
“The overall goal of this group, and really everyone working on healthcare solutions, is to create a healthy Oklahoma,” said Rep. Marcus McEntire, R-Duncan, co-chair of the working group. “We want to improve the way our citizens access healthcare and the way we deliver healthcare, and we want find a solution that will make it more affordable for our citizens. We have too many Oklahomans who lack insurance, and we have a healthcare system that is struggling to deliver care in rural parts of the state. It is vital that we find a way to provide health insurance and services for low-income and needy Oklahomans, but we need a solution that uniquely fits the needs of Oklahomans and is affordable. This is not going to be a quick or easy fix, so I am very grateful that we have started a collaborative effort that will bring everyone together with a common goal that will move us forward.”
State Sen. Greg McCortney, co-chair of the working group, said he expects the group to set goals to accomplish in the next legislative session and define action steps toward achieving the identified objectives.
“Today’s first meeting was successful and productive,” said Sen. Greg McCortney, R-Ada, co-chair of the working group. “It also showed us what we all know to be true and that is there’s a lot of work to be done in the arena of improving health care outcomes and increasing access to quality health care in Oklahoma. I’m excited to be co-chairing this group alongside Rep. McEntire. We’re committed to hearing from all sides of the equation. Ultimately, our goal is to collect good data and input from all stakeholders that will better inform the working group as we look at policy recommendations for the entire Legislature to consider. There’s lots of work to be done, so let’s get to it!”
One of the hopes expressed by Speaker McCall, President Pro Tem Treat and Gov. Kevin Stitt has been to create a unique healthcare system for Oklahomans that improves care and increases access but does not leave the state paying millions of dollars in costs if the federal government decides to lessen its portion of Medicaid expenses.
The working group will plans to meet weekly. Details of each meeting will be released ahead of time.