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Oklahoma’s Medicaid agency announces for-profit partners

January 29, 2021 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The state agency that oversees Oklahoma’s Medicaid program announced Friday the four for-profit companies it will use to outsource the care of most of the state’s Medicaid population.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority announced the selection of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Complete Health, Humana Health Horizons and UnitedHealthcare.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt pushed for the privatization and says the goal is to improve health outcomes for Oklahomans. He cited the state’s poor overall health rankings, including high rates of obesity, diabetes and tobacco use.

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Stitt’s plan is opposed by much of the state’s medical community, including the Oklahoma State Medical Association, Oklahoma Osteopathic Association and the Oklahoma chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics.

Stillwater physician Dr. Woody Jenkins described Stitt’s proposal as an “ill-conceived plan that will have serious implications for our state’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations.”

The proposal also has faced bipartisan opposition in the Legislature, but Senate Majority Floor Leader Kim David expressed confidence Friday that there won’t be overwhelming opposition from lawmakers.