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Oklahoma Medical Groups Sue To Stop Medicaid Privatization

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Stuart Ostler
/
Oklahoma Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A group of Oklahoma medical organizations filed suit Thursday seeking to stop Gov. Kevin Stitt from privatizing much of the state’s Medicaid program.

The Oklahoma State Medical Association, Oklahoma Dental Association and other state medical groups filed a petition that asks the state Supreme Court to weigh in.

They argue that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority proceeded with the plan without the legislative approval required to fund the proposal.

“Converting the lions share of the state’s Medicaid system to one primarily administered not by the agency, but rather insurance companies, is a matter of great public interest, especially in light of the acute health care challenges associated with the current pandemic already confronting citizens and medical providers,” the lawsuit asserts.

A spokeswoman for the agency says they’re aware of the lawsuit and confident Oklahoma law gives them the authority to develop the managed-care plan.

“The Oklahoma Health Care Authority believes that applicable Oklahoma law provides full authority for its development of the plan to improve the present delivery of the Oklahoma Medicaid Program to the managed care system and will respond to the specific legal claims in due course,” spokeswoman Melissa Richey said in a statement.

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