None - The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs has crunched the numbers and says exanding Medicaid would cost Oklahoma taxpayers 11 billion dollars in the first 10 years. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal health care law, changes who qualifies for Medicaid. Under the law, any one is eligible for Medicaid with an income up to 138% of the federal poverty level.
Jason Sutton with OCPA says the program’s expansion would mean 314,000 and 340,000 new Medicaid enrollees in this state. “What we are projecting is what the state will be forced expend during the first 10 years and so you are talking about four times more than we’ve ever spent on Medicaid,” says Sutton.
Sutton says there are people who don’t need to be on Medicaid and cites a study out of Harvard. “It showed that about 6 out of every 10 new Medicaid enrollees had private insurance prior to joining Medicaid. So, a lot of these people can afford private insurance but they are also eligible for Medicaid and so like most people they are going to take the free health coverage,” says Sutton.