Oklahoma could lose unspent funds for children

Friday, June 30th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- The state must use or lose at least $50,000,000 in unspent grant money targeted for health insurance for low-income children. The state has until September 30th to spend the money.

Oklahoma is among 37 states set to lose the federal funds awarded under the Children's Health Insurance Program. States had three years to use the funding appropriated in 1998.

Nico Gomez is a spokesman for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. Gomez says the state was originally allocated $85,000,000.

He says that while the state stands to lose the $50,000,000 it isn't from a lack of desire to make use of the money. Gomez says Oklahoma could not claim the enhanced program rate because it has a large percentage of uninsured children who were eligible for Medicaid.