Oklahoma could get $46 Million windfall in tobacco tax money

Mar 26, 2012

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma may receive a windfall of about $46 million a year in tobacco tax money if the federal health care goes into effect.

The law would ensure that most Americans have health insurance, either through Medicare, Medicaid, their employer or plans purchased with government subsidies.

The Tulsa World reports that when Oklahomans approved a cigarette tax increase in 2008, much of the revenue was dedicated to health care. The bulk of the money went to Insure Oklahoma, which mixes Medicaid, employer contributions and tobacco tax revenue to cover families with an income of $46,100.

Once the health care law takes effect in 2014, Oklahoma Health Care Authority spokesman Nico Gomez says Insure Oklahoma basically will go away.

Insurance will be provided through Medicaid, employer plans or a health exchange.