OKLAHOMA CITY (OK) – On Monday, Congresswoman Kendra Horn (OK-5) called on State Senator Stephanie Bice to release the details of her health care plan. While Bice has pushed to completely do away with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the ACA is currently the only law that protects hundreds of thousands of people in Oklahoma with pre-existing conditions and made it possible for Oklahoma to expand Medicaid, providing health coverage to more than 2OO,OOO individuals. Bice opposes Medicaid expansion, despite the fact that it was overwhelmingly approved by voters in the Fifth District.
Congresswoman Horn’s call comes as hospitalizations for COVID-19 reach a record high in Oklahoma. Bice has doubled down on her call for repealing the Affordable Care Act, but as News 9 reports, Bice “doesn’t have a complete plan laid out” to replace the health care system. Late last week, Congresswoman Horn released her 25-Point Health Care Plan for reducing health care costs, expanding access to care, and cutting prescription drug prices.
“In the midst of a pandemic, Oklahomans have the right to know how Bice plans to tackle the healthcare crisis our nation is facing,” said Congresswoman Kendra Horn. “The only idea we’ve heard from Bice on health care is abolishing the Affordable Care Act – which is the only law that protects people with pre-existing conditions like asthma and cancer — and replacing insurance with health savings accounts. That’s not a plan, that’s a disaster. Our state is already 49th in the nation for uninsured individuals and families, and if it were up to Bice, we’d be dead last. Oklahomans need health care, and that’s especially true during a pandemic. We’ve heard enough rhetoric – voters deserve to hear a real plan.”
In an interview with the Oklahoman, Bice doubled down on repealing the Affordable Care Act and offered her alternative proposal: replacing health insurance with health savings accounts, saying “Instead of providing insurance, let’s give an individual a health savings account.” Oklahoman reporter Chris Casteel replied that for low-income families, a savings account would not be enough to cover the cost of lifesaving care.
The Affordable Care Act currently insures 158,OOO Oklahomans through the ACA marketplace. 7O6,OOO Oklahomans living with pre-existing conditions are able to access health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act’s protections. And next year, 2OO,OOO more Oklahomans will gain insurance because of Medicaid expansion, which Oklahoma voters supported.
Congresswoman Horn supports strengthening the Affordable Care Act, rather than scrapping the health care system. Last week, Congresswoman Horn released a 25-Point Health Care Plan, including detailed policies to reduce premiums, lower drug costs, and increase access to care. Congresswoman Horn’s full 25-Point Health Care Plan is available here.