Oklahoma Says: Save SoonerCare for thousands of Oklahoma families

Oklahoma has submitted a proposal to the federal government that will cut health care coverage from low-income parents. Submit a comment to tell DC why this plan will harm Oklahoma parents!

MOTHERS

Of those who are at risk of losing health care, more than three quarters (78%) are mothers and 39% of these parents are under age 30. The vast majority (85%) of these parents have been in the workforce or have a family member that has been in the workforce over the past six months. These families are more likely to live in rural areas and small towns.

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CHILDREN

As their parents become uninsured the entire family is at greater risk for medical debt and even bankruptcy – moving these families in the opposite direction of economic self-sufficiency. This is particularly troubling in Oklahoma as it has one of the highest uninsured rates for children in the country – at 7.3% it is considerably above the national average of 4.5 percent.

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PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Oklahomans with disabilities are also at risk of losing health care access under this plan. Of those enrolled in SoonerCare, 36% of nonworking adult members aren’t working due to a chronic health issue or disability, which can range from depression to autism.

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How did Oklahoma get here?

This proposal to cut health care from low-income parents has been in the works for almost a year now. Before it can be implemented, Oklahoma has to apply and be approved for a waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Fortunately, there are steps in this process where you can take action to #SaveSoonerCare!

1. GOV. FALLIN & OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE

In Spring 2018, Governor Fallin issued an executive order instructing the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) to develop a waiver to take away health care from Medicaid patients who are unable to meet reporting requirements. The state legislature passed a bill (HB 2932) that also instructed OHCA to pursue a waiver.

2. OKLAHOMA HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY

At the request of Gov. Fallin and the state legislature, the state Medicaid agency wrote a proposal to the federal government to cut SoonerCare coverage for very low-income parents who don’t meet a reporting requirement. OHCA released the proposal draft in July 2018, and launched a required public comment period.

3. STATE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Before submiting the proposal to the federal government, OHCA was required to hold a statewide public comment period to allow Oklahomans to voice their concerns with the waiver. Out of nearly 1,200 comments, only 23 were in support of the waiver. Following this comment period, OHCA submitted the waiver to CMS for approval in early December 2018.

4. FEDERAL PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

On December 20, 2018, CMS posted the proposal for public comments for 30 days. We have until January 18 to raise our voice and tell DC why this plan will harm Oklahoma parents.

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PUBLIC COMMENTS CAN SHAPE POLICY

What You Can Do:

We only have until January 18 to tell DC why this proposal would be devastating for working families across Oklahoma. Here are 4 actions you can take to protect health care for the poorest families in the state:

1. SUBMIT A COMMENT

For a quick and simple way to submit a comment, you can use our easy form:

Submit Comment
2. EMAIL FRIENDS

Let your friends and colleagues know how they can take action via email.

Send email
3. SHARE ON TWITTER

Help us spread the word on Twitter using the hashtags #OKsays #SaveSoonerCare.

Send a Tweet
4. SHARE ON FACEBOOK

Encourage your Facebook friends to take action and submit a comment today!

Share on FB

#OKsays Save SoonerCare for Oklahoma families

This year, hundreds of Oklahomans raised their voice to send a clear message: reporting requirements are bad for low-income parents and children in Oklahoma. Here are just some of the comments submitted:

My step-grandson that is 22 years old has not other family & several mental health disorders. If he lost his SoonerCare, I do not know how we would be able to get his medications & see his counselors. Not to mention well care.

Family member of SoonerCare patient

I am on SoonerCare. I have schizophrenia & bipolar disorder with depression, anxiety, & PTSD. I can’t work due to paranoia, hallucinations, & psychotic episodes I endure on the weekly basis. I take my medication to reduce these symptoms but they still occur, making it impossible to work. This health care coverage being held in the air is literally a life & death scenario for me. I completely disagree with taking potentially thousands of lives off of SoonerCare.

SoonerCare patient

Without [Medicaid] I would have likely lost use of an eye this summer, or be bankrupt from trying to pay cash for an awful emergency. SoonerCare has allowed me to keep working.

SoonerCare patient

Take Action! Submit a comment today.

Who We Are

The #OKsays: Save SoonerCare campaign is organized by:

Oklahoma Policy Institute

and

Together Oklahoma