Oklahoma may soon gut Medicaid subsidies

Apr 13, 2017

Credit KFOR

Oklahomans may soon experience deep cuts to their Medicaid subsidies, if the state decides to slash funding to the state’s Medicaid agency, reports KFOR.

The proposed cuts could result in a funding cut of as much as 25 percent. These cuts would severely hurt the state’s patients and hospitals, especially in rural areas.

Programs that could be cut include pharmacy, behavioral health, durable medical equipment, cancer treatment programa, the waiver-funded Medically Fragile program and Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, private duty nursing services, adult organ transplants, dialysis, hospice services, physical and occupational therapy, and speech, hearing and language disorder services.

Leslie Whiles of New Direction Home Dialysis called the potential cuts “horrendous.” She said the slashed funding would be a death sentence for many of her clients.

The State of Oklahoma faces a budget shortfall of almost a billion dollars in 2017, but many state legislators were elected on a platform of keeping taxes low, so they find themselves in a bind when it comes to Medicaid funding. The state has refused Federal dollars that would accompany the expansion of Medicaid in the state.