OKLAHOMA CITY, June 1, 2021 – It’s official: managed care in Oklahoma is unconstitutional. The Oklahoma Supreme Court today issued a 6-3 decision in favor of plaintiffs who alleged that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) overstepped its authority by outsourcing the state’s Medicaid program following the passage of State Question 802.
OHCA announced late last year that the agency would award $2.2 billion in contracts to four insurance conglomerates to run Oklahoma’s expanded Medicaid program.
“The Supreme Court today agreed that the Managed Care contracts were awarded without legislative input and contrary to the plan approved by the voters through State Question 802,” said Lynn Means, executive director, Oklahoma Dental Association. “Medicaid expansion will provide coverage for more than 200,000 of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens. The managed care plan would’ve jeopardized health care for all Oklahomans by driving out providers of general health care, as well as dentists and specialists across the state. This lawsuit was one part of a physician-led effort to ward off privatization to insurance companies and keep Oklahomans in charge of health care in Oklahoma.”
“Oklahoma physicians were virtually united in opposition to this plan,” said Allison LeBoeuf, executive director, Oklahoma Osteopathic Association. “Oklahomans are best served when medical decisions are made between doctor and patient, and without interference from insurance bureaucrats.”
“Pediatricians and family physicians are trusted by their patients because they know how invested their doctors are in patient care,” said Kari Webber, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Academy of Family Physicians and the Oklahoma Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics. “The Supreme Court decision protects physicians and preserves patient care in Oklahoma.”
“We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s ruling, and we recognize the heart of this issue is much larger than managed care. It’s about ensuring that state agencies follow the law when spending Oklahoma’s tax dollars. Today’s ruling represents an important victory for transparency in government and Oklahoma taxpayers,” said Mary Clarke, MD, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association.
Plaintiffs on the suit are the Oklahoma State Medical Association, the Oklahoma Dental Association, the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, the Oklahoma Society of anesthesiologists, Inc., and the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Inc., plaintiffs who filed suit to stop managed care on the grounds that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority overstepped its bounds by outsourcing the state’s Medicaid program following the passage of State Question 802.
A copy of today’s Supreme Court ruling can be found here.
More information about the impacts of the proposed managed care plan and the health care providers united against it can be found at www.healthcareholdup.com.