Medicaid-ed: In a piece released last week, one of Oklahoma’s leading Republican pollsters and strategists said the party does not want Medicaid expansion to be an issue in the 2020 general election.

Pat McFerron of Cole Hargrave Snodgrass and Associates said April polling indicates fairly broad support for some sort of Medicaid expansion. The poll tested opinions and arguments for and against proposed State Question 802, which would mandate adoption of the Affordable Care Act’s expanded Medicaid program.

Backers of SQ 802 hope to have it on the November 2020 ballot.

McFerron said Republicans do not want to let health care take over state politics the way education did in 2016 and 2018.

“For Republicans, SQ 802 provides both risk and opportunity,” McFerron wrote in his report. “The risk is that leadership digs in its heals and fights any expansion. Yes, it could win the state question battle, but ... it could lose the war and health care coverage could dominate not only the 2020 election but 2022 as well.

“The opportunity is to take this issue off the table and put forth a plan with elements embraced by conservatives while making other desired changes to improve health care delivery in Oklahoma.”

Meetings and events: Third District Chairman Aron York will be the featured speaker at the Creek County Democratic Party meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Bristow Community Center, 417 N. Chestnut St., Bristow.

McFerron will speak to the Tulsa Republican Club at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Summit Club, 15 E. Sixth St.

Bottom lines: U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe endorsed the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office participation in the controversial 287g program, which essentially deputizes some local law officers for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement duties. ... House leadership tabbed Rep. Sheila Dills, R-Tulsa, for the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Emerging Leaders Symposium in San Diego last week. ... State Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, named Weatherford pharmacist Randy Curry to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. ... Treat also appointed Kari Stumprud and Carisa Wilsie, both of Yukon, to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services board of directors. Stumprud is a special-needs educator and Wilsie is a psychologist. ... Deadline is June 21 to apply for the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs Fears Fellowship program for young leaders. Applications are available at

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Randy Krehbiel


Twitter: @rkrehbiel

Randy has been with the Tulsa World since 1979. He is a native of Hinton, Okla., and graduate of Oklahoma State University. Krehbiel primarily covers government and politics. Phone: 918-581-8365

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