Two Republican State Senators are sounding the alarm bell today regarding both versions of national healthcare reform that would devastate at least one new health care facility in Oklahoma City and cost Oklahoma County and surrounding environs over 500 jobs.
State Sen. Jim Reynolds and Sen. Harry Coates say both the Baucus and Pelosi versions would financially devastate many top-quality health care facilities, including the one Oklahoma Heart Hospital’s South Campus, which is set to open soon at I-240 and Sooner Road. Begun in 2007, the current health care versions would financially undermine the facility by denying the facility federal reimbursement for services, such as Medicare and Medicaid. The new facility resides in Sen. Reynolds’ district.
“This facility, which cost $98 million, is nearly completed. It was built in order to improve the health of the citizens of the area, many of whom are elderly and many of whom have served this country. It is simply unconscionable to punish Oklahomans and Americans with this backdoor attempt to financially destroy a facility dedicated to saving lives,” Sen. Reynolds says. “It is an obscene provision, and it makes me wonder how much more obscene provisions lurk in the mammoth versions of these bills.”
According to Consumer reports, the Oklahoma Heart Hospital’s Northwest Oklahoma City facility is Oklahoma’s top rated hospital. A joint venture of Mercy Hospital, Midwest City Regional and a group of local physicians, the facility will serve much of southeast Oklahoma County along with hundreds of active-duty military and veterans.
“This is simply and fundamentally unfair,” says Senator Coates, R-Seminole, who was asked to intervene by several veteran’s groups after news of the provisions began to filter down from Washington. “To deny high-quality health care for those who wear the uniforms of our nation’s armed services, their families and our nation’s veterans is a disgrace. Petty partisan politics and health care turf battles need not be played-out in the healthcare reform effort underway in Washington, and I call on President Obama to intercede to ensure this unjust and unfair provision is removed from the final version of the bill.”
Both Sen. Coates and Sen. Reynolds plan to ask Gov. Henry, an early supporter of President Obama’s candidacy in 2008, to intercede quickly to remove the onerous provisions.