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None dare call it ‘expansion’

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Credit: Brad Gregg

The Affordable Care Act, you might recall, allows states to get federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage for people earning less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Such a move would provide health insurance for almost 200,000 uninsured Oklahomans, but Gov. Mary Fallin rejected the federal dollars late last year.

At the time, she said the state could not afford its long-term costs and cited the overwhelming unpopularity of Obamacare in Oklahoma.

Once you remove the word “expansion” from the picture, however, 51 percent of Oklahomans
evidently favor taking the money. That’s according to a Sooner Survey by
Cole Hargrave Snodgrass and Associates. Only 34 percent said they
supported turning down the money.

Other
findings in the phone poll conducted between April 16 and 22 were less
surprising. Most Oklahomans support tax cuts, really like U.S. Sen. Tom
Coburn and think Roe v. Wade is more fun to think of as things you can do in water. (OK, we made up that last part.)

While
Fallin has declined to reconsider her decision, a state bill taking
form aims to address the issue without having to burden itself with
reference to any Kenyan Muslim socialists. Senate Bill 640 by Sen. Brian
Crain, R-Tulsa, and Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove, seeks to utilize an
existing program, Insure Oklahoma, to increase coverage for low-income
citizens.

Psst! Gentlemen: Just don’t use the E-word.

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