Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma has long been contentious. After all, it reeks of socialism, and the mere thought of sick people being assisted by the federal government is enough to give us a brain hemorrhage, which we should then pay using our corporate health insurance and / or bootstraps.
This June, Oklahomans will finally be able to vote to join the majority of the country and try to get that sweet, sweet Medicaid money. From Tulsa World:
OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Kevin Stitt has set a June 30 date for state voters to cast their ballots on Medicaid expansion.
Supporters turned in more than 313,000 signatures to get State Question 802 on the ballot, well over the 178,000 needed for a proposed constitutional amendment.
The proposal withstood a legal challenge.
For more than a decade, Oklahoma lawmakers have refused to expand Medicaid in the state, citing costs.
Stitt is opposed to SQ 802, which would add Medicaid expansion to the state Constitution. The governor has pushed his own plan to revamp the state’s Medicaid program, called SoonerCare 2.0.
Supporters of SQ 802 say for every $1 spent in state dollars to expand Medicaid, another $9 in federal funds will return to the state. They also say it would expand coverage for nearly 200,000 Oklahomans.
It would help individuals making less than $17,000 a year and families of three earning less than $29,000 a year.
In the time of the greatest public health crisis and mass unemployment that we’ve seen in our lifetime, maybe it will finally pass. But the tricky part is that we have no idea what the pandemic will be looking like come June, especially with Derplahomans out here violating everyone else’s safety.
As of this weekend, there were more than 2,500 COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma and 139 deaths, and if all the jackasses I see out and about who are as cautious about distancing as Wayne Coyne is with plastic grenades at the airport, we should be locked down for longer than the officials are saying.
That could mean that we will have to all vote by mail. My polling station in a pretty dense part of the city never ever has a line, and asking people to do the extra steps of figuring out how to request their ballot, getting it notarized, and buying postage stamps might incredibly decrease the turnout. And with the feds refusing to bail out the USPS, hell we may not even have a postal service come June. The only people who can afford to spend $18 to Fed-Ex a ballot are most likely the types who will vote ‘no’ on the measure.
The last few elections with state questions have leaned into very surprising and hopeful territories, so hopefully Oklahomans do the right thing with this one.