Oklahoma governor asks only physicians on Medicaid oversight board to step down

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The only two physicians on the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board, which oversees the state's Medicaid program, have stepped down after Gov. J. Kevin Stitt requested that they resign, according to local news station Fox 25.

Jean Hausheer, MD, and Laura Shamblin, MD, stepped down from the board at the beginning of September. The change comes after the two physicians pushed back on Mr. Stitt's plan to privatize the state's Medicaid program, an initiative that the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down June 1.

The Oklahoma State Medical Association criticized the nature of the physicians' departure. OSMA President Mary Clarke, MD, told Fox 25 that the departures were "unfortunate. Who better to help explain and discuss how medicine works from the inside other than physicians? How we handle and take care of patients and how we have to interact with insurance companies like Oklahoma Health Care Authority and our Medicaid projects, you only get a perspective from the inside." 

The governor's office told Fox 25 that the board members who will replace the physicians — Susan Dell'Osso and Gino DeMarco — will "help make Oklahoma a top 10 state for health outcomes."

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