Surgery Center of Oklahoma Blog

July 12, 2011

State Budget Ideas

Filed under: Uncategorized — surgerycenterok @ 9:51 pm

Until the mid-1990′s Medicaid was administered by the DHS here in Oklahoma.  Medicaid now is administered by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.  How and why did this shift happen?  David Walters, the governor of Oklahoma, in an effort to ingratiate himself to the newly elected president (B. Clinton) and in anticipation of Clinton’s health care plan passing, brought a young socialist physician, Garth Splinter, to town to set up a “health exchange.”  Heard this phrase before?  The Canadian model was the “best health care model on earth” we were told by Dr. Splinter (that’s why so many Canadians travel to Surgery Center of Oklahoma for their surgery!)  Splinter set up the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, once again, in anticipation of Clinton’s health care plan becoming law.  Jumping on board early was supposed to boost the likelihood of Governor Walter’s securing one of those cushy Washington jobs…maybe even one in the White House.

Slowly but surely, this “Authority” began to assume more and more of the functions of the DHS and lo and behold, there were redundancies.  What?  In government agencies?

Recently the head of the “Authority” has been in the paper for his large compensation and  bonuses (due in large part to his having secured the provider tax deal….SWEET).  His compensation has been characterized as scandalous in the face of actual cuts in services to the poor.

Here’s a radical idea for you budget cutting types in the state legislature.  Why not abolish the “Authority?”  Give Medicaid back to the DHS.  This would not only save money but would eliminate an agency that could easily be confused for just the type of  ”exchange” that the current tyrant in charge of Washington is looking for.

I’m not holding my breath.  Maybe if the legislature abolishes the “Authority” they can then abolish the new and wonderful “Business Activity Tax.”

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

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