As the state seeks to improve health outcomes and to modernize payment models to incentivize value within the state’s Medicaid system, the Chamber supports dialogue and efforts to most effectively address the state’s total health care needs on a system-wide basis.
The Chamber supports protecting the current Medicaid supplemental payments or equivalent programs to our state’s medical schools and their hospital partners to ensure uninterrupted funding for medical education and the other unique services each provide.
The Chamber supports continued efforts to protect, preserve and further improve Employer Sponsored Insurance (ESI) offered under Insure Oklahoma.
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.
Oklahoma City County Health Department
The Chamber supports local public health efforts/responses and the independence of the Oklahoma City County Health Department.
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.
The Chamber opposes legislation which would eliminate the incentive for medical providers to contract with managed care networks and, as a result, potentially frustrate efforts at cost and quality control and ultimately deny consumers the benefits of cost-reducing arrangements with providers.
The Chamber further opposes legislation that would interfere with an employers’ ability to offer affordable health benefits due to a reduced ability to control benefit plans relating to prescription drugs.
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 and Nursing 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, underserved and other areas; 2) expanding residency programs for the state’s medical schools; and 3) strengthening the healthcare workforce by expanding nursing schools and training programs. 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 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 existing health care revenue and opposes cuts to the state Medicaid budget that would increase the burden of uncompensated care and shift costs to employers and health care providers.
The Chamber further supports a stable funding and tax structure for the health care industry to promote optimal care delivery and innovation.
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: tobacco prevention programs; efforts to mitigate the harmful health effects of e-cigarettes/vaping; public outreach initiatives; efforts to address health disparities; and, workplace and school-based wellness, health education and healthy eating programs.
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.
Clean Indoor Air
The Chamber supports legislation to make all indoor areas smoke free; as well as legislation to remove smokers, on a non-medical basis, as a protected class in state employment law.
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 excessive 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.
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.
Research and Development
The Chamber supports efforts to foster a federal policy environment that is conducive to further research and will oppose efforts to unreasonably restrict the continued development of national bioscience and research programs.
For more information, please contact a member of our Government Relations staff.