Medicaid Expansion

Dallas's Parkland Hospital treats a lot of people without health insurance. On a November day in 1963, emergency room doctors at this county hospital frantically tried to save an American president who could not be saved. These days, emergency room doctors frantically try to treat 240,000 patients every year.

"So you can see we have every treatment area filled up. Beds are in the hallways and the rooms are all full," says Dr. John Pease, chief of emergency services.

Five years after the Affordable Care Act passed, the law's provision allowing the expansion of Medicaid coverage to more people is still causing huge fights in state legislatures.

Headlines for Monday, May 4, 2015:

  • State lawmakers are getting closer to the end of the legislative session. (Tulsa World)

  • An Oklahoma Senator is raising concerns over a bond proposal to finish the Native American Cultural Center in Oklahoma City. (NewsOK)

  • As the legislative session nears its end a pay raise for teachers appears unlikely. (Journal Record)

The Republican-controlled Florida legislature — at odds over the question of whether to expand Medicaid — abruptly ended its session three days early on Tuesday, leaving hundreds of bills that are unrelated to health care unfinished.

Andy Gardiner, president of Florida's state Senate, says he's disappointed with the House's decision to stop negotiating and leave town.

Johnny Reynolds knew that something was wrong as far back as 2003. That's when he first started experiencing extreme fatigue.

"It was like waking up every morning and just putting a person over my shoulders and walking around with them all day long," says Reynolds, 54, who lived in Ohio at the time.

In addition, Reynolds was constantly thirsty and drank so much water that he would urinate 20 or 30 times per day. "And overnight I would probably get up at least eight or nine times a night," he says.

Headlines for Monday, February 9, 2015:

  • Oklahoma’s new superintendent ends field testing in state schools. (Tulsa World)

  • Membership in unions is declining. (Journal Record)

  • While GOP led states are finding ways to use Medicaid expansion to help uninsured people, Oklahoma leaders refuse to move forward. (NewsOK)

In This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and, sitting in for Ryan Kiesel, Oklahoma Policy Institute Executive Director David Blatt.

The trio discusses the President's State of the Union Address, the decision by the Governor to not use Medicaid Expansion money for low income Oklahomans and raising teacher pay.

They also talk about possible cuts in the energy sector and Republicans outnumber Democrats for the first time in state history.

KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about returning Governor Mary Fallin and new Superintendent Joy Hofmeister. 

The trio also discusses a judges ruling which could impact the 2013 GOP overhaul of the Workers' Compensation System and a plan by the Oklahoma Hospital Association to use Medicaid expansion money for low-income uninsured Oklahomans.