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What's Next: Medicaid expansion passes in Oklahoma

Posted at 9:15 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 00:33:26-04

Oklahomans pass State Question 802 to expand Medicaid in the state.

In a close race, the measure passed by just 6,500 votes on Tuesday.

The vote amends the Oklahoma Constitution to expand coverage to more Oklahomans.

Those who now qualify:

-Individuals who make $17,236 or below.

-Family of 2 who make $23,335 or below.

-Family of 3 who make $29,435 or below.

-Family 4 who make $35,535 or below.

Amber England is the campaign manager for Yes on 802.

“We built a grassroots movement for a reason because we knew that, you know, the battle wouldn't be over the night of the election but that really we had to get this to start having these important conversations with Oklahomans. Our work continues,” England said.

The next steps of the expansion are now in the hands of Oklahoma legislators.

“This campaign is going to play a pivotal role in making certain that those Oklahoman's who qualify for care actually get the care they need. We're going to continue to lead this conversation, and to help Oklahoman's navigate that process but also to hold Oklahoma politicians accountable to make certain that that they are funding the Medicaid expansion piece. There's a blueprint out there right now that could literally be funded on day one without raising taxes, taxes on Oklahoman's. And that's what this campaign will will will shift to in the coming days,” England said.

While it’s still early in the process of determining how the expansion will work, The Oklahoma Health Care Authority says it is prepared.

“We have faith in our state leaders and know that we respect the vote of Oklahoman's and we will give it everything that we have here that health care authority to do right by them and to take care of our states most vulnerable population,” said Melissa Richey, chief of communications for OHCA.

As for those who opposed the expansion, they say their work isn’t over either.

“Our next step would honestly just be to work on this issue, to work on healthcare reform at the state level in general and rest assured we will work very diligently when the time comes to work on the budget to make sure the budget is addressed the right way,“ said John Tidwell, Americans for Prosperity - Oklahoma.

Medicaid expansion is set to go into effect by July 1, 2021.

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