Last week in the House of Representatives, we heard 187 Senate bills on numerous topics, but I want to focus on two which I found particularly significant. These were Senate Bill 131 regarding managed care and Senate Bill 2 dealing with transgender athletes.
Senate Bill 131 would authorize the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) to manage the state’s Medicaid program in-house. This would cost the state significantly less in appropriations every year than the proposed alternate plan, SoonerSelect. The managed care model under SoonerSelect would cost at least $2 billion to sign the contracts and would inevitably incur more costs over time, whereas our proposed plan in SB131 would cost about $263 million annually.
I have worked as a psychologist for many years and found Medicaid to be a highly reliable form of payment for my patients. I have also interacted with various people from OHCA and seen first-hand their professionalism and efficiency.
Currently, we serve more than a million Medicaid patients in Oklahoma, and the OHCA has been nationally recognized as one of the best health care authorities in the United States. I believe we can effectively scale up to handle the estimated 240,000 additional people joining the Medicaid rolls. It doesn’t make sense to turn over billing to an agency outside of Oklahoma.
The House also voted last week to protect biological females from being forced to compete against biological males. Even if a person who was born a male has undergone surgery and/or received hormone therapy, I still believe it is inappropriate for him to participate in women’s sports. This is unfair to the female athletes who have worked so hard to excel among their peers.
Science tells us that the bodies of biological men have a competitive advantage over the bodies of biological women. Males are generally bigger, faster and stronger than females. I believe God made us either male or female. Even in the case of pseudohermaphroditism (a person who is born with sexual organs of both genders), the person’s chromosomes will reveal his or her true gender. If people identify as transgender, they can still participate in sports, but on the team that aligns with their biological sex.
Senate Bill 2 would ensure that athletes, especially young women, can continue to compete on a level playing field, and I was proud to support it.
Department of Human Services Update
I continue to work with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Director Justin Brown, as well as its legislative liaison Samantha Galloway, on establishing more secure funding for our daycare centers. I had filed legislation to address this, but ultimately laid it over so I could work directly with DHS.
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As always, please feel free to reach out to my office with thoughts on bills. You can reach me by telephone at (405) 557-7375 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for the privilege of representing you at the State Capitol!
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Randleman represents District 15 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes portions of Haskell, LeFlore, McIntosh, Muskogee, Pittsburg and Seqouyah counties.