Okla. Gov Weighs Medicaid Expansion, Health Insurance Exchange
|By Wayne Greene, Tulsa World, Okla.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Meanwhile, her administration seems to be opening the door to the possibility that the state will establish a state-based health insurance exchange, an issue that had seemed to be resolved.
The federal law -- "Obamacare" to its critics -- would provide
The federal government would pay for 100 percent of the cost of newly eligible
But when the
The re-election of President
"The governor did say she would make a decision sometime after the election, when it was more clear what the future of the ACA would be," said
Fallin is being lobbied heavily on the issue.
Hospital and business leaders, including the Tulsa Metro Chamber, are pushing her to accept the funding, arguing that otherwise
But others -- most prominently U.S. Sen.
Advocates for accepting the federal funding say Fallin's continued consideration of the issue is encouraging.
"We're fervently hoping that she will accept the expansion so we can accommodate additional folks," said
About 55 percent of Morton's patients are uninsured. While the federal government provides about a quarter of the facility's funding, that federal funding hasn't risen in about 15 years.
"I find the fact that she's still deliberating on it is very encouraging in that she's interested in making an informed decision," Silva said. "She can take all the time that she needs to make an informed decision."
Weintz said Fallin also is still considering the possibility of the state's establishing a health insurance exchange, a separate controversial issue of the Affordable Care Act.
When she first came into office, Fallin accepted a
Subsequently, legislative leaders tried multiple times to establish exchanges -- including one exchange that explicitly would not comply with Obamacare standards -- but had to back down under renewed tea party pressure.
Weintz said the statement that the governor is still considering exchange options doesn't represent any change in policy.
"She has never ruled out the possibility of creating a state-based exchange and has kept
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