Oklahoma Pols Call for Medicaid Overhaul

Monday, 07 Mar 2011 11:54 AM

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Oklahoma’s congressional delegation is backing the call by their governor and other state Republican Party leaders to overhaul Medicaid to avoid a fiscal crisis in years to come, the Tulsa World reported Monday.

"It's going to explode our state budget,'' Republican U.S. Rep. John Sullivan told the newspaper.

US Rep. John Sullivan
U.S. Rep. John Sullivan
He warned that the new health care law will increase Oklahoma’s Medicaid cost by some $440 million.

"The Medicaid system needs to be reformed,” Sullivan said. “The federal government's command-and-control approach has created a bureaucratic nightmare at the state level.''

Gov. Mary Fallin said at the recent National Governors Association meeting that she believed the Republican leadership in Washington was open to the idea of turning Medicaid into a block grant program for states. The change would allow states to design their own Medicaid programs.

Fallin said Oklahoma would face ballooning budget shortfalls because the federal health care law shifts Medicaid costs onto states.

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