State Supreme Court Allows Oklahomans To Collect Signatures For State Question On Medicaid Expansion
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma State Supreme Court heard arguments over a ballot initiative that would expand Medicaid in the state Tuesday.
By Tuesday afternoon, the court ruled to allow Oklahomans to begin collecting signatures in the summer to put State Question 802 on the ballot.
Before supporters start gathering signatures for a petition to get Medicaid expansion on the state ballot, it must clear a legal challenge by a conservative think-tank.
The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs says the proposed ballot language doesn’t accurately describe what the expansion would do.
“There’s no special pot of money setting in D.C. for every state’s Medicaid expansion,” OCPA President Jonathan Small said. “Every dollar of Medicaid in any state right now is a dollar that is going to come on the backs of our children and our future.”
However, the group leading the push for a statewide vote says Oklahomans are already paying taxes into the program, which the feds will match 9-to-1.
They say the money should help provide healthcare to an estimated 200,000 additional Oklahomans. And the state should be able to reap the rewards of broader access just like 36 other states across the country.
“We are sending billions of dollars, of our tax dollars to Washington D.C. and we could capture over a billion dollars a year back into Oklahoma communities, invest them here, give people jobs and give Oklahomans healthcare,” Amber England with Oklahomans Decide Healthcare told News9.
The court hears arguments over the ballot language Tuesday, but its decision will be announced later.
If the ballot languages clears this legal challenge, the group will need to gather nearly 178,000 signatures before the Medicaid expansion question can be placed on the ballot. If the court rejects the language, it will have to be re-written.