Health Care

Jonathan Small | May 13, 2016

Free Market Friday: Out of balance

Jonathan Small

As details emerge about the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s Obamacare Medicaid expansion rebalancing proposal, the most vulnerable Oklahomans, policymakers, and taxpayers should be very concerned.

The OHCA estimates 175,000 people will enroll in their new Obamacare-compliant entitlement program, yet their own consultants estimated that up to 628,000 would be eligible. In states that have already undergone rebalancing, actual new enrollment surpasses projections by an average of 91 percent.

The OHCA has revised cost estimates upward at least twice. State taxpayers will suffer harmful tax increases in order to pay a minimum of $390 million for the program over the first four years.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimated that a similar plan as proposed by the OHCA, which is now in effect in Arkansas, would cost taxpayers nearly $800 million more than traditional Medicaid expansion.

The OHCA is trying to sell lawmakers on the idea that the new entitlement program won’t see any enrollment growth or any medical cost growth over a four-year period.

What the OHCA isn’t telling policymakers, the most vulnerable Oklahomans, and taxpayers is even more concerning. Internal OHCA data reveals that a mere $10 million – at most – is needed to maintain provider rates for nursing homes to be sure vulnerable elderly Oklahomans are not displaced. So the OHCA and proponents are merely using the elderly as a human shield.

Read the rest over on The Journal Record.

Jonathan Small President

Jonathan Small


Jonathan Small, C.P.A., serves as President and joined the staff in December of 2010. Previously, Jonathan served as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, as a fiscal policy analyst and research analyst for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and as director of government affairs for the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Small’s work includes co-authoring “Economics 101” with Dr. Arthur Laffer and Dr. Wayne Winegarden, and his policy expertise has been referenced by The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, National Review, the L.A. Times, The Hill, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post. His weekly column “Free Market Friday” is published by the Journal Record and syndicated in 27 markets. A recipient of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s prestigious Private Sector Member of the Year award, Small is nationally recognized for his work to promote free markets, limited government and innovative public policy reforms. Jonathan holds a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and is a Certified Public Accountant.

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