21 Patient Groups Urge CMS to Reject Oklahoma Waiver Proposal that Jeopardizes Patients’ Access to Quality and Affordable Healthcare

Oklahoma first state to request a waiver under the Administration’s January 2020 guidance to allow block grants or per capita caps in Medicaid, limiting patients’ access to care despite pandemic

21 patient and consumer groups filed comments urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reject Oklahoma’s “SoonerCare 2.0” Medicaid waiver application and issued the following statement:

“As patient and consumer organizations representing millions of individuals facing serious, acute and chronic health conditions, we strongly oppose Oklahoma’s ‘SoonerCare 2.0’ proposal, which contains numerous policies that jeopardize patients’ access to care in the Medicaid program.

“The proposal requests many policies that threaten healthcare coverage for the people we represent, and would include a per capita cap, work requirements, and excessive premiums and cost-sharing. It includes many of the same proposals the courts have repeatedly rejected and that our organizations have asked CMS to reject in other states.

“Oklahoma is the first state to apply for a waiver under the block grant guidance that CMS issued in January. Many of our organizations submitted a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma expressing strong opposition to this policy as it limits patients’ access to care, especially for those who are more vulnerable.

“Our organizations would oppose this proposal under any circumstance, but it is especially dangerous to move forward with this proposal during a public health emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This waiver would make it much harder for the state to respond to this public health and economic crisis and have grave consequences for the health and lives of Oklahomans.

“This proposal will undoubtedly reduce access to quality and affordable healthcare for people with serious and chronic health conditions in the Medicaid program and our organizations urge CMS to reject this application.
American Heart Association
American Kidney Fund
American Lung Association
Arthritis Foundation
Chronic Disease Coalition
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Epilepsy Foundation
Hemophilia Federation of America
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Lutheran Services in America
March of Dimes
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Health Council
National Hemophilia Foundation
National Organization for Rare Disorders
National Patient Advocate Foundation
National Psoriasis Foundation
Susan G. Komen
The AIDS Institute
The American Liver Foundation
United Way Worldwide

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Cook
[email protected]

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