SHOPP bill vetoed

Posted on: 5/22/20

In an unexpected move on Thursday, the governor vetoed SB 1046. The bill would have increased the SHOPP fee to the maximum 4 percent, as allowed by law, to cover the bulk of the state’s share to draw down federal matching funds for the newly eligible expansion population starting July 1, 2020. This was made possible by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s submission of a State Plan Amendment (SPA) to fully expand Medicaid. The governor’s SoonerCare 2.0 plan calls for a full year of traditional Medicaid expansion with the expectation that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will approve his 1115 Healthy Adult Opportunity waiver and that this new waiver authority would be in place beginning July 1, 2021.

The governor’s veto came hours after signing SB 1935, a companion bill that authorizes the transfer of funds from the Revenue Stabilization Fund to cover the remainder of the state’s share. Interestingly, by vetoing SB 1046 the governor rendered SB 1935 void as it only becomes effective upon the passage of SB 1046. Therefore, the state has no funding for a SPA that is expected to begin enrollment July 1, 2020.

Citing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and unemployment, the governor expressed concerns that these factors will not only increase the number of individuals currently enrolled in Medicaid but will increase enrollment in the expansion population as well. Additionally, the governor cites the lack of funding for year two of his plan and contends the bill fails to fully fund year one of SoonerCare 2.0. We are waiting to see what the Oklahoma Health Care Authority does with the outstanding SPA into CMS.

As of publication, the Legislature has adjourned Sine Die and did not attempt to override the governor’s veto. Pursuant to the provisions of SCR 12, the Legislature may come back between now and the constitutional prescribed Sine Die of 5 p.m. on May 29.

Meanwhile, this is an important reminder that SQ 802 will be on the ballot on June 30. (Scott Tohlen)