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Sq 744 press release

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Sq 744 press release

  1. 1. For Immediate Release: October 20, 2010 Contact: Sam Blackstock Renee Mixon Wes Glinsmann Oklahoma Academy of Oklahoma Psychiatric Oklahoma State Family Physicians Physicians Association Medical Association 405-842-0484 405-360-5066 405-601-9571 blackstock@okafp.org oklapsychiatry@yahoo.com Glinsmann@okmed.org Oklahoma Physicians Urge Opposition to State Question 744 Three of Oklahoma’s leading physician groups came together today to express their concerns about State Question 744 and its potential impact on access to health care for needy Oklahomans. “State Question 744 will have drastic results for Oklahoma’s health care needs and other public services,” said Sam Blackstock, Executive Vice President of the Oklahoma Academy of Family Physicians. “At a time when Oklahoma already has some of the worst health statistics in the nation and a growing shortage of primary care physicians, we think diverting money away from the Health Care Authority and other public health programs to fund State Question 744 would do a huge disservice to Oklahoma’s poor and medically underserved populations.” Funds appropriated to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority draw down a two-to-one federal match. As such, every dollar siphoned off of the OHCA budget to fund the State Question 744 mandate will result in a net $3 loss in funds to provide health care for Oklahoma’s neediest citizens. “Oklahoma’s psychiatric physicians are concerned if State Question 744 is passed, all state agencies would potentially face a 20% cut in funding,” said Renee Mixon, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Psychiatric Physicians Association. “This would translate into a $1.5 billion dollar cut to Oklahoma Medicaid. Almost 1 of every 2 children in Oklahoma receives their health care coverage from Medicaid. This could potentially devastate the health of Oklahoma’s children.” Oklahoma already has a shortage of physicians—both primary care and specialists—in rural and other underserved areas. Many Medicaid patients already struggle just to get the health care they need. Cutting funding to the OHCA will only make matters worse, lowering medical reimbursement rates and driving more physicians out of the Medicaid market. “While we all certainly support the goal of improving education in Oklahoma,” said Wes Glinsmann, Director of State Legislative Affairs for the Oklahoma State Medical Association, “tying the hands of the Legislature and funneling money away from health care and other vital state services is not the way to do it.” ###

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