Prevented Thousands of Oklahomans From Losing Their Health Care Coverage.
As part of the implementation of Obamacare, the federal government wanted to eliminate a successful Oklahoma program that provides health insurance to 30,000 Oklahomans. Governor Fallin negotiated an extension of that program so those Oklahomans wouldn’t lose their health insurance.
- Saved Insure Oklahoma: Governor Fallin negotiated an extension for the state’s health insurance program for low income, working Oklahomans from being eliminated by President Obama.
Said “No” to Obamacare.
Medicaid expansion as proposed in ObamaCare is estimated to cost the state at least $689 million between now and 2022. Obamacare is unworkable and unaffordable. It expands a broken system rather than fixing it and would threaten to bankrupt state government the way it has Washington.
- Rejected Medicaid Expansion: Governor Fallin rejected the Obamacare Medicaid expansion and resisted creating a state health insurance exchange. Governor Fallin also continues to support Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s ongoing legal challenge to Obamacare.
Helped Improve Health In Oklahoma
Under her watch, health outcomes in Oklahoma are improving. The state went from 49th to 43rd in its health rankings and 47th to 39th in its smoking rate. To continue this positive trajectory, Governor Fallin continues to push healthy living initiatives. Tackling preventable illnesses linked to smoking and obesity is an economic issue as well as a quality of life issue. Smoking, for example, not only leads to thousands of deaths each year in Oklahoma, it also costs the state $2 billion annually in health care costs and lost workforce productivity.
- Pursued healthy life choices agenda. Governor Fallin is working hard to encourage healthy life choices in Oklahoma. She supports voluntary healthy living initiatives like Certified Healthy Schools, Businesses and Communities and supports restoring local control to communities to ban smoking in public places.
Increased Access to Medical Care in Rural Areas.
Access to medical care in rural Oklahoma can be a problem. The rural residency program championed by the governor funds training for doctors who practice in rural and underserved areas.
- Expanded Rural Residency Program for Doctors: Appropriated $3 million for rural residency program
Championed Mental Health Treatment
One in 3 Oklahomans currently suffers from mental health or substance abuse issues, which in turn contributes to poverty and crime. Treating mental health problems and preventing them before they start isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s an important economic issue as well.
- Increased funding and launched new treatment programs. Governor Fallin successfully championed increased funding ($17 million in 2013) for mental health initiatives including prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment; suicide prevention and counseling for mentally ill children and their families.