Wednesday, February 21, 2007

All Kids Act Clears Committee

Committee Approves Senate Democrats Plan to
Provide Access to Health Care for More Children

(Oklahoma City) – The Senate Appropriations Committee gave approval Wednesday to a key health care component of the Senate Democrats’ “Oklahoma Rising” agenda. Senate Bill 424 provides access to quality health care for more of Oklahoma’s uninsured children.
Named the “All Kids Act,” the measure would increase the number of children eligible to receive Medicaid benefits in the state by closing the gap between those children presently receiving Medicaid benefits and those covered under private insurance held by their parents.

Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan credited the work of Senator Tom Adelson, D-Tulsa, for winning passage of the measure. Adelson, Morgan said, continues to “work tirelessly to reduce the number of uninsured in Oklahoma.”

“By far the largest group among the uninsured in our state are children who honestly fall though the cracks. Their parents don’t make enough to afford health insurance but make too much to be eligible for Medicaid. This legislation will provide a bridge, giving these children access to quality health care and allow them to lead healthy, productive lives,” Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan said.

The “All Kids Act” would increase Medicaid eligibility for children from 185 percent of the poverty level to 300 percent – the maximum allowed by the federal government. That will enable the state’s Medicaid program to provide coverage for as many as 42,000 additional children.

Currently in Oklahoma, children whose parents make $37,000 or less a year are eligible for Medicaid. Senate Bill 424 would increase that income ceiling to $60,000 a year.

State costs to provide the additional coverage are estimated at $8.5 million, allowing the state to draw down nearly $30 million in federal matching funds.

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