State Capitol
5:20 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Legislative Session Over, But Health Questions Remain

Gov. Mary Fallin, House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) and other legislative leaders announce a budget agreement May 2 at the State Capitol.
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin gave lawmakers an 'A' grade for approving much of her agenda during the recently concluded legislative session, but at least one key issue remains unresolved, which is how the state plans to address the more than 630,000 Oklahomans without health insurance.

Fallin rejected the opportunity under the federal health care law to expand Medicaid coverage to nearly 200,000 people without health insurance, saying last November that doing so would prove too costly to the state and the country.

But this group that makes up about 17 percent of the state's population is placing a burden on the state's health care system because they often seek expensive medical care at hospital emergency rooms and ultimately drive up the cost of health care.