Okla. House passes bill; 111K cut from Medicaid

Posted at 12:55 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 15:45:15-05

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Facing a $1.3 billion budget hole, the Oklahoma House has passed legislation that would cut 111,000 Oklahomans from Medicaid.

House members on Wednesday passed the bill 65-34 mostly along partisan lines and sent it to the state Senate for action.

Rep. Mike Shelton sent a statement saying "This was a low day at the State Capitol. A majority in the House of Representatives voted to potentially kick 111,000 low-income citizens off the Medicaid rolls. During my 12 years here at the Capitol, I have witnessed numerous pieces of legislation that have favored corporate welfare over humanity. This is shameful.”

The measure would instruct the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to seek a federal waiver allowing the state to exclude from Medicaid all able-bodied adults under 65 with dependents.

Those affected would be adults with annual household income under $9,500 and at least one dependent child. Many would be single parents with preschool-aged children.

Republican Rep. Doug Cox authored the bill and says the cuts are necessary to help fill the budget gap. Opponents say the cuts will impact rural hospitals and health care.

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