Gov. Kevin Stitt(right) and Lieutenant Gov. Matt Pinnell look to Laurence Burnsed(left), Oklahoma State Department of Health Epidemiologist, during a news conference at the State Capitol regarding COVID-19 Thursday, March 12, 2020. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

I wrote an editorial earlier this year advocating for Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act ("I'm a Tulsa doctor, and I must speak out for Medicaid expansion," July 7).

Our country and state now face an existential crisis in the COVID-19 virus.

The failure of our state to join with 36 other states to opt into Medicaid expansion has placed our state and the most vulnerable in our state at great risk.

Now is the time for our governor and our state Legislature to join together and ask for a waiver for our initial $150 million share for full Medicaid expansion and to enact it immediately.

The president has already pumped $1.2 trillion dollars into the bond market; so $150 million more is just chump change.

While we are asking, we should also ask to be made whole for all of the years that we opted out of Medicaid expansion.

If there was ever a crisis that warrants bold leadership, this is it.

It is time to stop dithering and begin providing care to the least among us. God bless America.

I’m praying that Gov. Kevin Stitt becomes the leader that he should be.

Donald E. Loveless, Jr., M.D.

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