Medicaid State Question Advocates Urge Gov. Stitt to Put it on the Ballot

Mar 4, 2020

Together Oklahoma delivered a petition to the governor's office at the state capitol on Wednesday asking him to set an election date for State Question 802. The initiative would amend Oklahoma's constitution to expand Medicaid.
Credit Together Oklahoma

Advocates for a state question to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma delivered a petition Wednesday to the governor’s office asking for him to put it on the ballot.

Together Oklahoma, the grassroots advocacy arm of Oklahoma Policy Institute, followed that up with a series of meetings with lawmakers at the capitol.

"While Oklahomans are waiting for an election day, the governor has started to lay the groundwork for his Medicaid alternative, and we are instead asking him to listen to the will of the voters and let Oklahomans decide," said OK Policy Outreach and Legislative Director Sabine Brown.

Gov. Kevin Stitt has not given the full details of his SoonerCare 2.0 plan. Instead, he has released information bit by bit since announcing in January he wanted Oklahoma to be the first state to use a new, capped-funding program offered by the Trump administration for Medicaid expansion.

Supporters of State Question 802 turned in a record 313,677 signatures for the proposed constitutional amendment in November. Brown said expanding Medicaid would make a big difference.

"Lawmakers have had a decade to work on this issue, and in the meantime, hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans have been left without getting the health care that they need. So, Oklahomans took that into their own hands," Brown said.

Stitt has said he opposes State Question 802 because a constitutional amendment will tie officials’ hands if the state needs to change its Medicaid program in the future. He recently said he’ll put it on the ballot this summer or fall, but he did not give a more specific time.