Expressing “grave concern,” former Attorney General Drew Edmondson today launched a petition drive aimed at showing Oklahomans’ opposition to a provision of the proposed federal health care law that will put rural hospitals and the health of nearly a million Oklahomans in jeopardy.
The bill, which could come up for a vote in Washington as early as next week, would significantly cut Medicaid funding. As of May 2017, almost 822,600 Oklahomans were enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program, including more than 547,000 children, according to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.
“Insurance industry lobbyists own Washington,” Edmondson said. “The plan announced by Senate leaders today makes it clear that they’re willing to sacrifice rural and low-income communities to line their already overflowing pockets. If we don’t stand up now, if we don’t let Washington know that these aren’t our values, there is no doubt that the health of Oklahomans will suffer. I believe lives are in jeopardy.”
Edmondson, a candidate for governor in 2018, is asking Oklahomans to sign a petition opposing the proposed changes. That petition will be sent to Oklahoma’s two U.S. Senators ahead of the planned vote on the measure.
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