Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:46 am
As cities in the southern U.S. continue to recover from the ice and snow storm that brought life to a standstill in many places this week, stories are emerging about the incredible things some people did to help out others.
Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine was the only member of Oklahoma's House delegation to vote against a bill that would allow insurance companies to sell individual coverage even if it falls short of standards required under the federal health care law.
The measure passed the Republican-controlled House Friday by a vote of 261-157.Oklahoma Republican U.S. Reps. Tom Cole, Frank Lucas, James Lankford and Markwayne Mullin all voted in favor of the legislation.
Federal officials say 346 Oklahomans managed to enroll for health insurance last month by using the problem-filled federal website for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
The figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were even lower than recent estimates for the 36 states, including Oklahoma, that are using the federal insurance exchange.
ByOklahoma Watch and Clifton Adcock and Tulsa World and Ziva Branstetter
A majority of small general hospitals in Oklahoma are losing money, and health care officials warn that some hospitals could close, be sold or cut services.
Federal financial reports for nearly every hospital in the state, obtained by Oklahoma Watch and analyzed and reported with the Tulsa World, show that in each year from 2009 to 2012, between half and three-fourths of general hospitals with fewer than 100 beds lost money. Most are in small cities or rural areas. More than half posted losses in multiple years.
Larger hospitals fared better. In each year during the four-year period, between 7 percent and 19 percent of general hospitals with 100 beds or more lost money.
More than 140 navigators have been hired in Oklahoma and are prepared to help people on Tuesday with questions about the federal marketplace. That is the first day that consumers can begin shopping, comparing and buying health insurance plans online or in person with the help of trained navigators and counselors.
Tuesday morning, the marketplace website noted that heavy traffic was making the page slow to load. The Oklahoma page took several minutes but eventually advanced to a log-in screen.
Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:25 pm
Debate is raging about Obamacare, and not just in Washington. Out here in Oklahoma we're grappling with implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Patients. Employers. Hospitals. Doctors. Insurers. All of us.
Here then are one doctor's predictions about what we will see in the short and medium term for what I see as the unfolding Obamacare era — the biggest domestic health expansion since the enactment of Medicare in 1965.
Oklahomans will be able to shop for and purchase insurance on the new health insurance exchange created under the federal Affordable Care Act beginning Oct. 1. Under the law, most Americans will be required to have health insurance coverage by Jan. 1, 2014, or face a tax penalty.
Many people are uncertain how much it will cost to purchase insurance through the exchange, or if they will be eligible for subsidized coverage or Medicaid.
Seventy-two of the state’s 77 counties, or 94 percent, are designated by the federal government as shortage areas for primary health professionals; 30 have 10 or fewer doctors of any kind. The five counties not considered shortage areas are Oklahoma, Johnston, Canadian, Rogers and Wagoner, according to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.