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Families USA Report Shows Healthcare Costs in Oklahoma Off the Charts Tulsa Senator Unveils Plan to Reduce Cost-Shifting

Senator Tom Adelson Senator Tom Adelson

(Oklahoma City) Senator Adelson announced a five-part plan to reduce healthcare costs in Oklahoma Thursday following the release of a national study that found that the privately insured in Oklahoma pay nearly double the national average in additional premiums to cover the cost of healthcare for the uninsured.

The Families USA June 2005 Report quantified, for the first time, the dollar impact on health insurance premiums resulting from uncompensated care. When doctors and hospitals and other healthcare professionals incur losses from treating the uninsured, these providers recover a portion of their losses from the privately insured.

“Oklahomans are paying double the national average in additional premiums to cover the cost of non-reimbursed care.” Adelson said. “Cost shifting is greater here than in every other state except New Mexico.”

The Families USA Report estimates that, nationally, family health insurance premiums are $922 higher and individual premiums $341 higher as a result of this cost shifting.

Cost-shifting is a much larger problem in Oklahoma.

The report found that in Oklahoma family health insurance premiums are $1,780 higher and individual premiums are $680 higher due to the burden of uninsured care.

“Uncompensated care is a hidden tax imposed on small business and the privately insured. We need to work in a bipartisan fashion to find solutions to our healthcare crisis,” Adelson said.

As part of a comprehensive approach, Adelson proposes:

  • Expanding health savings accounts;
  • Issuing vouchers for the uninsured (Oklahoma’s premium assistance plan is currently under review by the federal government);
  • Expanding the number of federally qualified health centers in Oklahoma;
  • Fully funding Oklahoma’s Medicaid programs to ensure that Oklahoma draws down its share of promised federal monies earmarked for healthcare;
  • And passing Senate Bill 977 (Drug Reimportation) to allow Oklahomans to better afford the medications their doctors say they need.
  • “In the wake of the Families USA Report, healthcare reform and healthcare funding has to be one of our top legislative priorities this next session. This is a problem that affects every Oklahoman,” Adelson said.

    The Families USA June 2005 Report can be viewed online at

    Contact info
    Senator Adelson's Office - State Capitol: (405) 521-5551 Email: