Woodward, Okla. — Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City, said the bill would benefit employers and cost the state more. A legislative analysis shows it would increase Oklahoma's cost by $1.5 million annually.
"This bill is a joke. A joke on injured workers," Morrissette said.
Republicans countered that the current system is broken and delivers poor health outcomes and higher costs for businesses and workers.
Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa, suggested those costs came from Oklahoma's other problems, pointing to the state's low education rankings and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority's figure that one-fifth of Oklahoman adults lack health insurance.
"We should be thinking about how we help people in our state get healthy and go to work every day," she said.
The bill appears likely to pass in its current form after Gov. Mary Fallin and House and Senate leaders announced Tuesday that they agreed on the bill's outlines.