Dozens Rally For Health Care At State Capitol
OKLAHOMA CITY - As the Oklahoma legislature is considering health care expansion, many advocates gathered at the steps of the state Capital before heading inside to speak with legislators. They’re hoping those legislators are listening to why they believe health care expansion is the best option for the state.
Many states, in years past, have taken their concerns to voters. And that's the change some Oklahomans hope to see during this year's legislative session.
“If people would recognize that it’s not just, ‘My neighbor who has no insurance, it’s their problem.’ But, ‘My neighbor has no insurance it’s my problem too, because it affects what I pay,’ then I think people would be more willing to say we must do something to change this,” former State Senator Angela Monson said.
While the 2019 legislative session is nearing its end, Medicaid expansion has been reintroduced. But Governor Kevin Stitt has gone back and forth on whether or not to call for expansion.
The Oklahoma Policy Institute estimates about 110,000 people would sign up for health care coverage if the Medicaid expansion was approved. They also believe that the child uninsured rate would drop.
Another issue that was addressed Wednesday, was the closing of many rural hospitals and ambulance services, along with the cost of having so many people without coverage.
“We know that legislators have a chance to fix this issue this session. So, we’re here to encourage our legislators to listen to Oklahoma’s and do the right thing this session,” Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator for Oklahoma Policy Institute, Sabine Brown, said.
Many who were at the rally Wednesday, said that the momentum for change will not stop there. They’ll continue their efforts until something is done this legislative session.