New analyses from OK Policy and Families USA quantify benefits of Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma

Organizations show impact of proposed initiative to cover more people and draw down more federal dollars

Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma will create jobs, help the state budget and change lives, according to two new reports released by the Oklahoma Policy Institute (OK Policy) and Families USA.

The two reports— Medicaid expansion: Ten years of unparalleled return on investment, improved outcomes and The economics of Oklahoma Medicaid expansion during pandemic and recession: Creating jobs, helping the state budget respectively—show the importance of an upcoming ballot initiative to expand Medicaid. On June 30, Oklahomans will vote on State Question 802. If they approve the initiative, the state will adopt full Medicaid expansion to cover adults with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level, joining all but 13 other states.

OK Policy’s report reveals that expanding Medicaid will give 200,000 working Oklahomans who don’t receive health insurance through their employers access to coverage so they no longer have to choose between life-saving care and putting food on the table. It will also bring more than a billion federal tax dollars to the state—money Oklahoma has lost out on for years. 

Findings from Families USA’s report show that federal dollars from Medicaid expansion will generate $2.3 billion in increased economic activity from Oklahoma’s doctors, nurses, and hospital staff and create 26,000 new jobs. It also indicates that the economic activity resulting from expansion will generate $123 million in increased sales and income tax revenue to help balance state and local government budgets.

Carly Putnam, OK Policy Institute’s Policy Director and Stan Dorn, Families USA’s National Center for Coverage Innovation Director, held a discussion on the report, which can be viewed here

A considerable body of research shows that Medicaid expansion provides significant benefits to states and its residents,” Putnam said. “The fact no state has rolled back their expanded coverage through Medicaid is perhaps the best validation of the program’s effectiveness.”

“Medicaid expansion would save Oklahoma jobs and help the state balance its budget,” Dorn said. “By bringing federal health care dollars back to Oklahoma, the state will at last enjoy the economic benefits long received by the vast majority of other states. The resulting boost to state revenue and employment is needed now more than ever as Oklahoma soldiers on during what threatens to be the deepest recession in generations.”  


Media Contacts:


About the Organizations:

Oklahoma Policy Institute is an independent non-profit that seeks to advance equitable and fiscally responsible policies that expand opportunity for all Oklahomans through nonpartisan research, analysis, and advocacy. 

Families USA, a leading national voice for health care consumers, is dedicated to the achievement of high quality, affordable health care and improved health for all.


David Hamby has more than 25 years of experience as an award-winning communicator, including overseeing communication programs for Oklahoma higher education institutions and other organizations. Before joining OK Policy, he was director of public relations for Rogers State University where he managed the school’s external communication programs and served as a member of the president’s leadership team. He served in a similar communications role for five years at the University of Tulsa. He also has worked in communications roles at Oklahoma State University and the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce in Arkansas. He joined OK Policy in October 2019.

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