Thursday, May 21, 2020

Gov. Stitt vetoes SB 1046, says would not provide stable funding for Medicaid expansion plan


OKLAHOMA CITY (May 21, 2020) — Governor Kevin Stitt today vetoed Senate Bill 1046, which would not provide a stable funding source for the SoonerCare 2.0 Medicaid expansion plan.

The initial proposal to fund SoonerCare 2.0 included recurring provider assessment fees through the Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program. SB 1046 only provided SHOPP funding for Fiscal Year 2021, which would leave Medicaid expansion unfunded for Fiscal 2022 and further exacerbate the state’s projected budget deficit.

“From day one, I’ve said one-time funds are not the way pay for Medicaid expansion,” said Gov. Stitt. “This bill doesn’t fully fund SoonerCare 2.0 in the first year, and it doesn’t even consider funding for the second year. I will always protect the taxpayer and I will not sign unfunded mandates in the middle of a massive budget deficit.”

If SB 1046 becomes law, fully funding SoonerCare 2.0 would require further depletion of the revenue stabilization fund or deeper cuts to other state agencies.

When Gov. Stitt initially announced the SoonerCare 2.0 proposal, Oklahoma’s unemployment rate was 3.2% and the state had a record $1 billion in savings.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty within the energy industry, unemployment rates are predicted to be as high as 14%, creating an increase in the number of individuals enrolled in Medicaid as well as potential enrollees in the expanded population.