Gov. Mary Fallin issued a statement Thursday in which she cited Gomez's “valuable experience and knowledge.”
“I look forward to working with Nico and the OHCA on Oklahoma-based solutions to expand and improve access to quality health care for low-income Oklahomans, children, the elderly and the disabled.”
Fallin late last year decided to reject an expansion of the Medicaid program that would have extended health coverage to an estimated 180,000 low-income Oklahomans who are uninsured. The decision was celebrated by tea party groups and conservative legislators, but criticized by hospital officials and health care professionals who must absorb the costs of the nearly 20 percent of uninsured Oklahomans who often seek health care services at emergency rooms and are unable to pay.
The board on Thursday approved a $500,000 consulting contract with Utah-based Leavitt Partners to analyze and make recommendations for developing an Oklahoma-based plan for increasing health insurance coverage.