Oklahoma governor vetoes bill to fund his Medicaid plan

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
05/26/2020 01:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed a bill on May 21 designed to fund his own Medicaid expansion plan, leaving it unclear how his proposal would be paid for.

The bill would have increased a fee that hospitals pay from 2.5% to 4% and was expected to generate about $134 million annually to help fund the state’s portion of Stitt’s proposed Medicaid expansion, dubbed Soonercare 2.0.

Stitt said in his veto message that the funding stream would not have covered the full cost of the expansion and was only authorized for one year.

“From day one, I’ve said one-time funds are not the way pay for Medicaid expansion,” Stitt said in a statement.

Stitt wants to take advantage of a block-grant-style Medicaid expansion offered by the Trump administration that would give states more control over Medicaid in exchange for a limit on how much the feds kick in. If the Trump administration approves Stitt’s proposal, the Medicaid expansion would take effect July 1, but it’s not clear now how the state would pay for its share of the plan.

The Legislature is returning to the Capitol on May 22 and could override Stitt’s veto with a two-thirds vote in each chamber.

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