MEDICAID EXPANSION RALLY HEALTH CARE

People attend a rally for Medicaid and health care coverage expansion at the Capitol in Oklahoma City on April 24. Supporters of Medicaid expansion are working to circulate an initiative petition to get the issue on the ballot in Oklahoma. NATE BILLINGS/The Oklahoman file

Supporters of an initiative petition seeking to expand Medicaid will gather signatures Saturday morning at the Guthrie Green downtown.

The group Oklahomans Decide Healthcare has been pushing to get the signatures needed to get State Question 802 on the ballot.

About 177,958 signatures must be turned in to the Secretary of State’s Office by Oct. 28.

“It allows the state to expand the Medicaid pool in Oklahoma up to 138% of the poverty level,” said Amber England, a spokeswoman for Oklahomans Decide Healthcare.

Volunteers will be gathering signatures at 111 E. Reconciliation Way in the Tulsa Arts District from about 9 a.m. to noon as part of a statewide collection drive.

According to England, the measure would ensure that an additional 200,000 people get medical coverage and help individuals making less than $17,000 a year.

If passed, it would bring in nine federal dollars for every $1 in state funds spent on the expansion, England said. It would take effect no later than July 2021.

Lawmakers in Oklahoma for years have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, saying the state could not afford it and that the federal match might be reduced later.

Those who want to volunteer or sign a petition can learn more by visiting facebook.com/yeson802.


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