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Lankford, Inhofe, and Cole Address Oklahoma’s 1115 Waiver

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) made the following statements regarding Oklahoma’s 1115 waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

 “We appreciate CMS and Administrator Verma for their continued efforts to provide a responsible transition plan for two of our state’s most critical healthcare providers and medical schools—the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University,” said Lankford. “We remain determined to find a solution that maintains the state’s capacity to provide care for some of our most vulnerable patients. I will continue to encourage CMS to work with the state to provide additional time and resources to prepare them to take on full authority of the two medical education programs later next year. It is critical that Oklahoma has access to adequate transition funding so the necessary preparations can be made to restructure the program without interrupting high-quality healthcare delivery for our Medicaid beneficiaries.”

“It is encouraging to see movement from CMS,” Inhofe said. “CMS’s approval of the 1115 waiver program should provide more certainty for the state’s Medicaid funding, but CMS has yet to provide the level of detail needed to conclude this matter. This clarity must be provided quickly. These funds support care for our state’s most vulnerable people, which makes CMS’ disallowance letter all the more concerning. I will continue to work with all stakeholders on an outcome that supports Oklahomans.”

“I am pleased with CMS’s decision to work with the state of Oklahoma and our health care authority to provide stability and funding for such a critical part of our healthcare system. These funds will allow our state to bridge and prepare for the future of our healthcare delivery system and importantly the continued graduate medical education programs at our universities,”

Cole continued, “I remain deeply concerned by recent messaging from CMS to our state regarding previously deferred payments. While I am proud of our delegation’s work addressing this vital funding need for our citizens it is clear that my colleagues and I have more work to do. We will continue our efforts and always put Oklahoma first as we address this and every issue we face.”