Rural Oklahomans deserve health care, education where they are

Many people prefer living in rural Oklahoma. We need to surround them with the health care services needed to let them prosper in place.

We, the people of Oklahoma, demand that our elected leaders dedicate themselves to finding common ground to provide for the Common Good. Our people are the most valuable resource we have. Oklahoma is at a pivotal point. Will we let our rural areas die, or provide the quality state services needed to save them?  

About 2017, many of our rural communities turned to private for-profit health services searching for quality, affordable and accessible health care. They discovered when those companies did not reach their profit goal, they filed for bankruptcy and left the state.

That could have been avoided if Oklahoma had participated in the Medicaid expansion program from its inception. It would have provided a stable funding base for low-wealth families in those rural areas. Finally, on June 30, 2020, a vote of the people approved Medicaid expansion, which provides health care for low-wealth adults between the ages of 18 and 65. As of May 25, 2022, more than 291,000 Oklahomans received health care through this program. Medicaid expansion is funded 90% from federal money. With this increased investment of new money to the state, Oklahoma could have provided a stabilizing factor for our rural communities not just in improved health care but in bringing home our federal dollars as a boost to our economy. The administrative costs for the state to operate this program run between 3% and 4%. General Medicaid administrative costs are met with 50% federal and 50% state funding, but there are 20 Medicaid Administrative matching formulas. 

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