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HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

Oklahoma Health Advocates Push For Medicaid Expansion

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Public Domain via Pixabay

Health advocates in Oklahoma are continuing to press for Medicaid expansion.

As StateImpact Oklahoma reports, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2012 made the expansion optional for states. After that decision, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declined federal funds that would have resulted in thousands more Oklahomans being covered by health insurance. A recent Census Bureau report found that Oklahoma has the second-highest rate of uninsured residents among all states.

In many counties in the Oklahoma Panhandle and northwest parts of the state, more than one out of every three residents is uninsured.

The practice of expanding Medicaid has become much less controversial in recent years. Last year, voters in the deep-red states of Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah passed Medicaid expansion bills, and those states are currently implementing expansion. Other Conservative states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Kentucky have also chosen to expand Medicaid and accept Federal funds for health care.

But the plan would not be without costs. As StateImpact notes, "If Oklahoma expands Medicaid, the federal government would pay 90 percent of the cost. The state would pay the remaining 10 percent, estimated to be $100 million dollars."