Oklahoma Medicaid cuts may hurt seniors, say critics
Oklahoma’s Medicaid cuts have many senior citizens fearing that they may end up in the streets. In June, Oklahoma plans to cut 25 percent to Medicaid, which implies health experts, nursing homes, and other medical providers will not receive funding from the government, and therefore, putting millions of poor and seniors in jeopardy of losing their medical care or even the roof over their head.
Oklahoma’s Medicaid cuts are apparently just the beginning because there are bigger cuts predicted for 2017. With the news that Oklahoma has a $1.3 billion budget shortfall, government officials have decided to cut, cut, and cut some more. First, they slashed off education (Republican governor Mary Fallin, who graduated at Oklahoma State University, does not believe her voters should get a higher education, according to critics.) Secondly, Medicaid was cut, (Fallin is apparently not a fan of people going to doctors when they fall sick, claim her opponents.)
In late May, early June, Oklahoma Health Care Authority will have to put Medicaid on the chopping board and cut off 25 percent from reimbursements to physicians, hospitals, and other medical providers via the Medicaid program, known as SoonerCare. Millions of poor, low-income, and elderly Oklahomans will be directly impacted by the drastic cuts – especially those living in nursing homes.
According to some experts, over 90% of retirement centers that rely on Medicaid as their primary source of funding will be shut down, and many are wondering where will they go? Maybe Fallin should take them in the governor’s mansion, say those, who are not happy with the changes.
Hubert Romine, who once worked in the oil field and now lives at Arbor Village in Sapulpa, said he will end up homeless if the cuts are put in place. The retiree shared:
“It’d be devastating, really. The shape I’m in such as that, I can’t take care of myself and that’s what this place is for. I like it here. This is my home, this is where I want to be.”
He said that the politicians should visit the people they are hurting, and added:
“If they take a 25% cut, I’ll probably be out on the street. If they can’t go around places and look and talk to people and talk to people who work there and just experience being there, they might change their mind.”
Arbor Village Executive Director Ernie Johnson stated that they have been writing to lawmakers every day hoping they will change their minds. Dwight Sublett, an Oklahoma doctor, spoke to local media explaining how Obamacare could have helped many, too bad they declined to use it, he said:
“For the rural physicians, this is going to be a devastating blow…Oklahoma has declined to expand Medicaid, leaving uninsured an estimated 91,000 people who might have qualified for federally subsidized coverage under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. You mention ‘Medicaid expansion,’ that’s dirty words in this state because of the link to Obamacare.”
What are your thoughts on the Oklahoma Medicaid cuts?