Oklahomans To Vote On Medicaid Expansion Through State Question 802 On Tuesday

Monday, June 29th 2020, 5:34 pm
By: Tevis Hillis

Some 200,000 Oklahomans could become eligible for Medicaid under State Questions 802.

If approved, State Questions 802 would expand Medicaid in the state under the Affordable Care Act.

Supporters said this is money we are leaving behind but can bring back to Oklahoma to help "insure we bring back over a billion dollars of our taxpayer money every single year to provide access to care to over two hundred thousand Oklahomans that do not have that care now," said Amber England the campaign manager of SQ 802.

The federal government would pay 90% of the Medicaid expansion cost, with the state picking up the remaining 10%.

Opponents said the would not the people who genuinely need the benefits.

"Medicaid expansion is an expansion of welfare in Oklahoma, mostly toward childless, able-bodied adults, those who are able to find employment," said Kaitlyn Finley, a policy research fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. 

Supporters said this would help Oklahomans who work in jobs that do not offer health insurance. The Yes on 802 campaign also said the impact will reach beyond that.

"We will be able to save rural hospitals, boost our economy, and protect jobs," England said. 

If passed, the state Legislature will have to decide how to fund it.

Options include raising the Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program fee on hospitals, earmarking a share of tobacco settlement revenues and allocating general revenues.

Polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.