The Norman Transcript

Opinion

December 23, 2013

Expansion would help state

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Dear Gov. Fallin: By not expanding Medicaid, you are costing us Oklahomans dearly. We are still paying the Medicaid taxes but not getting the benefit. Instead, the benefits which our taxes support go to other states. Why would you do that when the Federal Government pays 100 percent of the Medicaid expansion (via the Affordable Care Act) through 2016, and then 90 percent of the program’s cost after 2016?

And you think that the 10 percent we would have to pay after 2016 would strain your budget? You know that hospitals would greatly prefer to pay six percent of their revenues and get a much larger amount back from Medicaid from the newly insured.

Rumor is that you are afraid of getting a right-wing extremist as an opponent next year and you’re placing politics over the people — people whose lives would be better, even saved, by having health insurance and could go to the doctor when they got sick. Instead they now wait until they are so bad they have to go to the emergency room, which is enormously expensive for us taxpayers. 

Do you think that if Oklahomans understood what you are doing, that they would approve?

If you think you need “cover” for expanding Medicaid, you can reference these Republican governors who have expanded Medicaid in their states: John Kasich (Ohio), Jan Brewer (Arizona), Rick Snyder (Michigan), Brian Sandoval (Nevada), Susana Martinez (New Mexico), Chris Christie (New Jersey), Jack Dalrymple (North Dakota) and Rick Scott (Florida).

WANDA JO (PELTIER) STAPLETON

Oklahoma City

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