Letter to the Editor: Disappointed
BY John Henning Schumann, Tulsa
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
11/27/12 at 2:59 AM
I am extremely disappointed with Gov. Mary Fallin's decision declining Oklahoma's participation in the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare.
As a practicing physician and medical educator, I see the impact of "uninsurance" on low-income, chronically ill Oklahomans every day.
Options for these folks are few. Since they aren't moneyed, and struggle to get by in every sense, they aren't well-represented at the ballot box.
The decision not to participate in a broadening of the safety net is morally, financially and medically wrong.
The majority of those earning between 133 percent to 400 percent of the federal poverty level are working - without any safety net. They constitute "the working poor." They are not, as some suggest, "freeloaders."
Quite simply, those with Medicaid attain better health. The data prove it.
Governor, your alternative "plan" of doing more of the same strikes me as both mean-spirited and inhumane to your fellow Oklahomans - whether they voted for you or not.
Please reconsider this misguided decision. We taxpayers want our federal dollars coming back to help Oklahomans - not going only to more benevolent states.
Editor's note: Schumann is program director, internal medicine residency and associate professor of medicine at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine.
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