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8:55 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Hospital Fee clears House

Oklahoma City, OK – Okla House OKs hospital fee to shore up Medicaid

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Lawmakers in the state Legislature are trying to find a way to give more assistance to low-income people to cover health care costs.

A bill that would impose a fee on hospitals in order to generate about $350 million for this purpose passed the House 76-22 Thursday.

The measure by Republican state Rep. Doug Cox is designed to shore up funding for the state's Medicaid system, and is supported by state hospitals.

The bill would impose a 2 percent fee on a hospital's net revenue. The Oklahoma Hospital Association says that fee would generate about $123 million, which then would be used to draw about $220 million in federal matching funds.

Cox, a physician from Grove, says that without the revenue, hospitals will continue to lose money treating Medicaid patients and ultimately be forced to close their doors.