Okla. House Indefinitely Delays Bill Banning Medicaid Coverage of Emergency Contraception

March 4, 2013 — The Oklahoma House on Thursday indefinitely delayed a bill (HB 2039) that would ban the state's Medicaid authority from covering emergency contraception, after the bill's sponsor raised concerns that the bill might jeopardize the state’s federal Medicaid funding, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The measure -- sponsored by House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R) -- would prevent the Oklahoma Health Care Authority from funding EC coverage. The authority oversees the state's SoonerCare Medicaid program.

Shannon requested that state Rep. David Derby (R) send the bill to a calendar committee because he was concerned that it contradicted federal Medicaid guidelines, which could put the state's federal funding for the program at risk.

Derby said he was unsure when the bill would be reintroduced to the House for a vote because it would need to be amended before the committee could schedule a vote to send it back to the House.

Carter Kimble, spokesperson for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, said the portion of Medicaid beneficiaries who would use EC is relatively small (Holtmeyer, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/28).