Jesse Jackson Urges Lawmakers To Accept Obamacare Dollars

Sunday, May 22nd 2016, 8:24 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said the cuts the Oklahoma state Legislature is making are nothing more than a war on the poor, and he said he's here in town to make some noise about it.

Jackson attended a rally Sunday in Oklahoma City along with advocates for the poor, handicapped, veterans and education. He said the Legislature is trying to bridge an estimated $1.3 billion budget deficit on the backs of the poor.

News 9 sat down with Jackson after the rally, and asked him why he came here when so many other states also have budget issues.

“Every place I go, I raise the stakes," Jackson said.

Jackson said he hopes his visit will add pressure to state leaders to accept Obamacare dollars.  

Backers say that could bring $900 million federal dollars back to the state.  

"It’s ideological,” Jackson said. “They want Medicare. They want care but not Obamacare. That's like an omelet not wanting the eggs."

The state healthcare authority announced Saturday it would hold off on proposed 25 percent cuts to Medicaid reimbursements to see what solutions the Legislature offers this week.

Cuts could force hospitals and nursing homes around the state to close.

"God has been too good to the few of us to be so unkind to the most of us,” Jackson said. “Too few are getting too much. Too many are getting too little. And the middle class is sinking. We must rise up all together. Why not close ranks and rise together?"