- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 24, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A bill to cut 111,000 Oklahoma residents from Medicaid has advanced from a House committee despite a consensus that the measure would violate federal law.

Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/1Tz8NFl ) reports that the Appropriations and Budget Committee advanced the bill Tuesday with a 14-7 vote. It would instruct the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to seek a federal waiver allowing the state to exclude all able-bodied adults under 65 with dependents from Medicaid.

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.

Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove, said the federal waiver is unlikely to be granted, but the bill would alert the federal government about Oklahoma’s situation.

The state faces a $1.3 billon general revenue reduction in the upcoming fiscal year. Cox said his bill was the best of many unsavory options, including aid reductions to children and those over 65.

House Minority Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, and Rep. Mike Brown, D-Tahlequah, said the bill demonstrates the state’s misplaced priorities.

Brown specifically pointed to business incentives given to Oklahoma City’s NBA basketball team. Inman said the $111 million in state revenue saved would cost twice that in federal matching funds and take more than $300 million out of Oklahoma’s health care economy.


Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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