Advocates submit signatures to get Medicaid expansion on Oklahoma ballot in 2020

Advocates submit signatures to get Medicaid expansion on Oklahoma ballot in 2020
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Supporters of Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma said they submitted more than enough signatures on Thursday to get the measure on the ballot in 2020. 

The "Yes on 802" campaign said it submitted more than 313,000 signatures, far more than the roughly 178,000 it needed, to qualify to get Medicaid expansion on the ballot in Oklahoma next year. 

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Campaign manager Amber England said in a statement that her group had “a mandate from a record-breaking number of Oklahoma voters who want the chance to bring more than a billion of our tax dollars home from Washington every single year to deliver healthcare to our neighbors, keep our rural hospitals open, and boost our economy.”

Oklahoma is one 14 GOP-controlled states that have not accepted the expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare. Republicans have traditionally raised concerns about the cost of the program. 

More states have been expanding recently, however. Utah, Idaho and Nebraska voters approved ballot measures approving Medicaid expansion in last year’s elections. 

The Yes on 802 campaign estimates almost 200,000 people in Oklahoma would gain coverage if expansion were adopted in next year's election.

The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a conservative think tank in the state, has vowed an opposition effort. 

"There will obviously be significant opposition once it gets to the campaign stage," the group’s president, Jonathan Small, told The Oklahoman earlier this month.