To the editors:
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt remains committed to his disastrous plan to privatize the state’s Medicaid program through managed care. It looks like once he has an idea in his head, he won’t be sidelined by facts.
Citizens’ passage of Medicaid expansion shows where the people’s hearts are, after elected leaders ignored expansion for a decade. Now legislators are joining medical associations, physicians and citizens to remind Stitt that we already tried and failed with privatized managed care from 1993-2004.
A second experiment in privatizing Medicaid was attempted in 2015 for the state’s aged, blind and disabled populations, but it bombed a couple of years later.
It became clear that health care providers — the people who are supposed to make the profits — couldn’t make money under statewide managed care. This was “following years of ineffective provider retention, the need for higher provider reimbursements and the demand from MCOs (Managed Care Organizations) for an 18 percent rate increase,” according to the Oklahoma Policy Institute.
Public servants at the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority provide high-quality care management with only 3-4 percent in administrative overhead. Stitt let bidders on his privatized contracts charge up to 15 percent — more than three times more — for administrative overhead. I guess Stitt never met a state agency he really liked or trusted.
To our legislators — please don’t fund Governor Stitt’s latest get-rich-quick scheme. Remember hydroxychloroquine? He is pushing ahead without input from you or the people. It’s time to say no again.
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Four companies announced for Oklahoma Medicaid managed care contracts by Andrea DenHoed