OKLAHOMA CITY – State Sen. Rob Standridge said after years of studying the issue of capitated managed care, he’s convinced adopting such a plan for Oklahoma would drive up costs and create a health care system that would leave the state’s most fragile citizens with inferior care. Standridge, R-Norman, explained his concerns in a letter sent Monday to Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) CEO, Kevin Corbett.
“The Legislature, as well as practically every healthcare professional in the state, has consistently opposed outsourcing our Medicaid system to insurance companies because its supposed cost saving measures severely degrades the quality of care for our citizens on Medicaid. Not only did we see this in Oklahoma the last time this was attempted, resulting in multiple lawsuits, but even today in our neighboring states that have gone down this path,” said Standridge in his letter to Corbett, warning, “The results in managed care states have often been tragic.”
Standridge also pointed to the costs of managed care saying that Oklahoma is one of the least expensive Medicaid states in the nation and has spent a little over $6,000 per recipient per year over the last five years, while in neighboring states that outsource their systems to insurance companies, costs have skyrocketed.
“If we were to adopt either of the financial models of the two neighboring states previously mentioned, Texas or Kansas, taxes on hard working Oklahomans would have to be increased by two to three billion dollars,” Standridge said.
In addition to the higher cost, Standridge warned Corbett the plan would have a devastating human toll.
“I find this irresponsible and uncaring of both our most fragile citizens that will be left with a Medicaid system far inferior than the one they have today, and our Oklahoma taxpayers. A massive increase in taxes, just so we can be like other states that seem to value the profits of large insurance companies over the hard-earned money of our constituents, is inexplicable and unjustified,” Standridge said.
Standridge told Corbett that in his eight years in the Senate, not one constituent had complained about Sooner Care and that physicians in his district praised the state’s Medicaid system.
“I beg you to reconsider bringing managed care into our great state. I am happy to visit with you about my in-depth analysis of managed care programs around the country,” Standridge concluded.
For more information, contact Sen. Rob Standridge at 405-521-5535 or email Rob.Standridge@oksenate.gov.