(Editor’s note: A previous version of this article inaccurately compared block grants to managed care. We apologize for the error.)
Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt’s plan for Medicaid managed care was struck down by the Oklahoma state Supreme Court on June 1. The ruling, which was in response to a filing from February of this year, invalidated Governor Stitt’s plan to avoid expanding Medicaid.
The lawsuit was filed against the Oklahoma Health Care authority, specifically naming Kevin Corbett, who serves as Chief Executive Officer, as a respondent. Both Mr. Corbett and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority list Mike Hunter as one of their attorneys. Mr. Hunter is currently the Oklahoma Attorney General, but recently announced his resignation amidst rumors of personal strife.
The petitioners in the case are listed as the Oklahoma State Medical Association, the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Oklahoma Dental Association, the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, and the Oklahoma Society of Anesthesiologists. All of the named organizations are opposed to Mr. Stitt’s plan not to expand Medicaid coverage for Oklahomans who need healthcare support.
Trump inspired Okla. Gov. Stitt’s plan
Under Governor Stitt’s suggested plan, Oklahomans would continue to have managed care, in which an organization or provider is responsible for providing a specified set of services for each insured member in return for a set monthly payment, known as the capitation rate. While Oklahoma’s SoonerCare is a form of Managed Care, Governor Stitt did not want to expand Medicaid, another policy which was a hallmark of twice-impeached former president Donald Trump, who invited Gov. Stitt to the White House rose garden following Stitt’s enthusiastic support for Mr. Trump’s health care plan. Oklahoma, under the guidance of Governor Stitt, was the first state in the country to support Mr. Trump’s suggestion for not expanding Medicaid.
Meanwhile, Oklahomans voted in support for Oklahoma State Question 802, which expanded Medicaid, rather than limiting it. Over 200,000 more Oklahoma citizens will be eligible for Medicaid services on July 1, when the program begins.
Gov. Stitt’s plan, on the other hand, would provide over 2 million dollars to four private healthcare insurance companies, who would then manage and coordinate care for all Oklahoma citizens who receive Medicaid. The plan would not expand services, unlike the Oklahoma Medicaid Expansion plan which goes into effect next month.