Medicaid Expansion

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Administration may be the big fight over Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma.

Lawmakers leading the discussion are confident they can use a plan vetoed by Gov. Kevin Stitt as a funding fallback. It used an increased assessment on hospital revenue to come up with around $130 million, most if not all of Oklahoma’s share of around $1 billion in expansion costs.

Yes on 802

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma voters narrowly decided on Tuesday to expand Medicaid health insurance to tens of thousands low-income residents, becoming the first state to amend its Constitution to do so.

The Economic Benefits and Perils of Adopting Medicaid Expansion

Jun 30, 2020
KWGS News Photo

The campaigns on both sides of State Question 802 have made numerous claims about the potential benefits and perils of Medicaid expansion. Independent producer Dan Epstein checked out some of those claims for Oklahoma Engaged.

Medicaid expansion is just one complex element of the larger even more complex healthcare machine. There’s not enough time  to look at every potential economic impact Medicaid expansion may have. But perhaps the best starting point is something no one disputes. Oklahoma would get a little more than one billion dollars from the Federal government.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A question on whether to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma and a crowded Republican field vying to challenge the state’s lone congressional Democratare drawing the most attention ahead of Tuesday’s primary election.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Kevin Stitt on Thursday said he still does not support State Question 802, the ballot question to be voted on by Oklahomans on Tuesday regarding whether the state's Medicaid program should be expanded.

"It's going to be either raising taxes, which I'm not going to be for, or it's going to be cutting services from other state agencies" like education and public safety, Stitt said on how the state would fund the expansion if passed by voters.

Yes on 802

With a vote on a state question to expand Medicaid less than three weeks away, Republican state lawmakers think they know how it will go.

"I think 802 is likely to pass," House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City) said during a legislative briefing with the Tulsa Regional Chamber.

"We’re all expecting it to pass. We are," said Senate Majority Floor Leader Kim David (R-Porter).

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s administration is scrapping a plan to expand Medicaid on July 1, citing a lack of state funding.

The state’s Medicaid Director Melody Anthony notified the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in a letter Thursday that the state was withdrawing its proposal.

The Stitt administration pushed for the expansion in March, but after the Legislature narrowly passed bills to help pay for the state’s share, including one that increased a fee that hospitals pay, Stitt vetoed them.

Oklahoma Watch

The Oklahoma legislature passed bills this week funding Gov. Kevin Stitt’s SoonerCare 2.0 proposal.

Senate Bill 1046 is the main piece. It adds 1.7% to a fee assessed on hospitals’ net patient revenue. That would generate more than $130 million a year of the state's roughly $160 million share to pay for Medicaid expansion.

In the wake of the US Supreme Court's Common Cause v. Rucho case which ruled that gerrymandering cases are a non-justiciable issue, citizen grassroots efforts have emerged to use other means to prevent partisan gerrymandering and other voter suppression efforts. These locally organized efforts have led to initiative petition victories to create non-partisan redistricting commissions in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Utah, expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in Idaho, and restored voting rights for former felons in Florida and Alabama.

Gov. Kevin Stitt has put a state question to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma on the June 30 ballot.

State Question 802 supporters turned in more than 313,000 signatures last year to qualify the proposal for a statewide vote. It needed 178,000.

From Flickr, licensed uncer CC BY 2.0.

Governor Kevin Stitt's proposal to retool Oklahoma's Medicaid system closed its 30-day public input period on Wednesday, but some Oklahomans say the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic made that timeframe inadequate for such a consequential policy change.

Unable to attend our March Give & Take on Medicaid expansion? No worries! You can hear the recording of the event here. Our conversation focused on Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma, what exactly this means, what the barriers are to expansion, and current proposed policy changes.