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Affordable Care Act would cover almost all Okla. inmates, study finds

Nearly all of the $13 million the state prison system spends on hospital bills for inmates would be covered by Medicaid starting in 2014

By C1 Staff

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — A new Department of Corrections analysis has found that practically all of Oklahoma’s costs for hospitalizing prison inmates would be picked up by the federal government if the state accepts funding under the Affordable Care Act.

According to the Tulsa World, nearly all of the $13 million the state prison system spends on hospital bills for inmates would be covered by Medicaid starting in 2014 if they opted into the new federal law.

When the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law, it struck a provision that mandated that every state accept an expansion of its Medicaid program to cover households earning as much as 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

If Oklahoma accepts the Medicaid expansion, virtually all prison inmates would fall within the 133 percent of federal poverty level, according to DOC spokesman Jerry Massie.

Gov. Mary Fallin, who has called the Affordable Care Act unworkable and unaffordable, has delayed making a choice on the Medicaid expansion until after November’s presidential election.

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