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Senate OKs $15 million to Boost Okla's Medicaid (Mar 21, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A spending bill designed to prevent further cuts in reimbursement rates for doctors and hospitals that provide medical services to low-income Oklahomans is heading to the governor's desk.

The Senate on Monday voted 32-8 for the bill that allows the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to spend an additional $15 million in federal stimulus funds. The no votes all were cast by Republicans.

Access to the additional stimulus funds will allow the agency to maintain its current operations for the rest of the fiscal year that ends June 30 without any further reductions to provider reimbursement rates.

A legislative plan last year to shore up the state's Medicaid system by imposing a 1 percent fee on insurance premiums was found by the state Supreme Court to be unconstitutional.



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