Health Care Priorities

2019 Health Care Priorities

STATE ISSUES

Health Insurance Coverage for Oklahomans
The Chamber supports:

  • Extending Health Insurance Coverage to More Oklahomans
    The Chamber supports extending health insurance coverage to more Oklahoma residents through pursuit of all available funds to cover the costs of uncompensated care that is currently shifted to employers and health care providers.
  • Broadening Insure Oklahoma
    The Chamber further supports broadening Insure Oklahoma to provide health insurance coverage to more of the state’s uninsured.

Research and Development
The Chamber supports efforts to foster an environment that is conducive to further research and will oppose efforts to unreasonably restrict the continued development of the state’s bioscience and research programs.

Mandates
The Chamber opposes new health insurance mandates and liabilities that will undermine an employer’s ability to provide quality health insurance at reasonable cost to employees.

The Chamber further opposes new mandates being placed on physicians, hospitals and providers that will increase the cost of providing quality health care in Oklahoma.

Medical Education Funding
The Chamber supports maintaining physician training funding for the state’s two largest medical schools in the base budgets of the University Hospitals Authority and Oklahoma State University Medical Authority.

Physician Shortage/Rural Access
The Chamber supports the following initiatives to address health care disparities: 1) incentivizing the recruitment and retention of primary care physicians, specialty physicians and allied health professionals in rural and underserved areas and 2) expanding residency programs for the state’s medical schools. The Chamber supports efforts to identify new funding streams dedicated to these initiatives.

The Chamber also supports the appropriate expansion of technology platforms (such as telemedicine and telehealth) and data platforms to enhance access to health care for underserved Oklahomans.

Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET)
The Chamber supports the constitutional provisions of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) to support the public health of Oklahomans.

Appropriations Support of Community Health Centers
The Chamber supports adequate state funding for community health centers to provide quality health care to underserved Oklahomans, prevent cost shifting to other entities and maintain a healthy workforce for Oklahoma employers.

Health Care Funding
The Chamber supports protecting health care revenue, including revenue in health care revolving funds, from being diverted to fund other areas of government.
The Chamber opposes cuts to the Medicaid budget that would increase the burden of uncompensated care and shifts costs to employers and health care providers.

Wellness/Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan
The Chamber supports the following state initiatives including wellness, disease prevention and care programs that serve to improve the physical, behavioral and mental health of Oklahoma citizens: The Oklahoma State Health Innovation Plan; the five-year Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan (OHIP) supported through the State Department of Health; the Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative; the Oklahoma City-County Wellness Now Health Improvement Plan; tobacco prevention programs; studies of the potential health effects of e-cigarettes; public outreach initiatives, efforts to address health disparities and workplace and school-based wellness; health education and healthy eating programs.

Medical Marijuana
The Chamber supports inclusion of medical marijuana under the Oklahoma Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act to ensure medical marijuana is placed under the same restrictions as tobacco by allowing public venues and businesses to prohibit smoking.

Prevention of Disease
The Chamber recognizes the detrimental impact of chronic and communicable diseases (including substance use disorder) on the quality of life for Oklahoma’s residents and the severe economic costs they impose on health care providers and employers. Therefore, the Chamber will support efforts by the state’s elected officials and medical and research communities to develop avenues to successfully prevent and combat congenital, chronic, pandemic and communicable diseases.

FEDERAL ISSUES

Single-Payer Health Care
The Chamber supports improving health care quality, access and affordability without imposing new mandates and/or taxes on business. Therefore, the Chamber opposes a single-payer government-run/public option or health care system with government mandates.

Employer-Driven Market Reforms
The Chamber believes that employers drive innovation in health benefits and, therefore, we support market-driven health reforms are the best approach to reducing costs while promoting market stability, efficiency, wellness and quality of care.

Medicaid Cuts
The Chamber opposes Medicaid cuts that would place increased pressure on reimbursement rates, negatively impact the adequate delivery of critical services to the most vulnerable, exacerbate an already high administrative burden for health care businesses and increase the burden of uncompensated care shifted to employers and health care providers.

For more information, please contact a member of our Government Relations staff.