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Myth vs. Fact

Myth #1

Patients will be the main beneficiaries due to the emphasis on preventive care.

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Patients will be harmed as access and services are reduced or denied.

 

The Health Care Authority’s own actuarial advisor has said that to achieve cost savings under the managed care plan, Oklahoma would need to reduce services to Medicaid patients by up to 40%.

Fact #1

Myth #4

This privatization effort has broad-based support.

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Dozens of legislators from the governor’s own party oppose his plan.

 

This opposition stems in part from his departure from the Oklahoma Constitution, which assigns budgetary duties to the Legislature.

 

Medicaid will account for about one-fourth of Oklahoma’s next fiscal year budget, yet the Legislature and health care community were not consulted.

Fact #4

Myth #7

Managed care saves the state money by emphasizing preventive care.

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Other states have reported savings derived largely from denial of claims.

Fact #7

Myth #10

Opponents to privatization consist primarily of large urban hospitals that derive emergency-room revenue from Medicaid patients.

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Opposition to the governor’s plan includes patient groups, dozens of legislators and virtually every group of health care providers in every part of the state.

Fact #10

Myth #2

Privatization will rapidly improve Oklahoma’s national health standings. 

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Oklahoma’s current health standings are closely tied to its rankings in housing, education, income, poverty and a lack of health insurance. Corporate middlemen cannot solve these societal causes.

 

In 2019, OHCA created a performance and health improvement plan to identify trends, implement quality improvements and reverse unfavorable trends. This plan offers far greater hope for lasting changes than privatizing health care.

Fact #2

Myth #5

Legislators are helpless to stop privatization now that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority has signed contracts with four insurance companies to administer Medicaid.

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These contracts include two provisions that clearly give the Legislature veto power. One instructs the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to cancel the contracts if the Legislature does not appropriate the necessary funding. The other provision is even more direct: It says the contracts are terminated if the Legislature votes to prohibit them.

Fact #5

Myth #8

All states that have expanded Medicaid have privatized their systems.

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At least seven states that expanded Medicaid do not have privatized managed care.

Fact #8

Myth #3

Privatization will lead to more efficient spending of Oklahoma’s public health care funding. 

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SoonerCare is a national model, with administration costs below 4%. Comparatively, the governor’s plan allows up to 15% in administrative costs for large insurance companies.

Fact #3

Myth #6

So-called “managed care” creates savings. 

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Most states have shown increases not only in administrative costs, but also in bureaucracy and payment-processing time.

Fact #6

Myth #9

Safeguards have been installed to prevent the issues that plagued a similar privatization effort in the 1990s. 

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The Oklahoma Health Care Authority board chairman says safeguards are now in place but has not provided specifics.

Fact #9