Health officials supporting proposal to hike cigarette taxes by a buck

Friday, April 11th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Health care officials are backing a dollar-per-pack increase in the state's cigarette tax to keep Oklahoma's Medicaid program running properly.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority says $112-million in additional state funding is needed to keep the Medicaid program operating in fiscal year 2004.

Authority boss Mike Fogarty says at least $45.4-million more in state money is needed to maintain Medicaid programs for the next fiscal year.

Fogarty says another $67-million is needed to restore cuts from this year and to make sure doctors, clinics and hospitals are properly paid for Medicaid coverage.

Medicaid provides health care services for more than 600,000 Oklahomans.