NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:
Ok, let me see if I’ve got this straight. When the federal government ended its program of providing $13-$16 million in surplus equipment each year to fire departments, our state and congressional leaders immediately began working on restoring this program as our fire departments couldn’t afford this equipment on their own. (Thankfully this program has just been restored.)
However, when congress passed the Affordable Care Act and President Obama signed it into law, the provision to expand Medicaid was considered “federal overreach” and our state and congressional leaders actively resisted in providing this expanded coverage to its citizens. This is even though the expansion would provide health care to approximately 126,000 uninsured Oklahomans would provide economic support to rural hospitals and increase the state’s economy by $447,000 to $486,000 per year above and beyond any increased Medicaid costs to the state. This is according to our own governor’s Leavitt Report. And what would this life-saving expansion cost Oklahomans?
Based on current population, the cost would be $14.22 per person per year. That’s all, that’s it. Isn’t it time to expand Medicaid coverage and afford all of our citizens’ access to affordable health care? After all, isn’t that what the “Oklahoma Standard” is all about?
We have a very important election coming up in November and elections do have consequences. Let’s consider this when we step into the voting booth this November and elect officials who want to do the right thing for all our citizens. (Many thanks to Gene Perry and Carly Putnam of the Oklahoma Policy Institute for information used in this letter.)
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