Oklahoma Lawmakers Approve Crucial Stimulus Funds for Medicaid

Tuesday, March 22nd 2011, 5:25 pm
By: News 9

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Low income Oklahomans on Medicaid, will continue to get the services they signed up for after the state Senate approved a $15 million lifeline.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority manages Medicaid, also known as SoonerCare. A spokesperson said they were in dire need of funds to fill a budget hole.

The Senate approved $15 million in stimulus funds to be released to the program. Without the money, the state was considering cutting some patient benefits and reimbursements paid to doctors.

More than 800,000 Oklahomans depend on Medicaid for their children.

"We can't afford insurance, we don't have any other options," said Kim Miller, a mother of five.

Miller and other parents are grateful lawmakers approved the money so doctors can keep their doors open.

"I'm glad it was handled in a timely manner. You can't put a time on when kids are sick. So I appreciate it," said parent, Melinda Hammons.

The money will carry the program through the end of the fiscal year. Governor Mary Fallin still has to approve the bill. She is expected to sign it soon.

Besides medical doctors, some dentists and eye doctors also get Medicaid reimbursements, and this will in no way impact the Medicare program.