Quotes in Favor of Medicaid Expansion

Health Care Providers

  • Pam Cross, Executive Director the Health Alliance for the Uninsured – “We really support efforts to look at this from several perspectives — certainly the health care needs of individuals, but also the impact that their poor health has on our economy.  The expansion of Medicaid should create many jobs for individuals that make our workforce more productive, so we hope that this is not something that can’t be reconsidered in the future.”
  • Andrew Rice, Executive Director of Variety Care Foundation and former State Senator – “Having them covered through Medicaid expansion is the moral thing to do, but it’s more importantly the fiscally responsible thing to do. To get them coverage and into primary care situations like ours could save the system so much money. We could have a healthier workforce.”
  • Jay Johnson, President and CEO of Duncan Regional Hospital – “We are all going to pay the taxes whether Oklahoma expands Medicaid or not. As we pay into this program, it would be like us opting out of Social Security and sending all of our social security dollars to someone else in other states. It would go to the federal government to use as they chose at that point.”
  • Dr. John Schumann, an Oklahoma physician and medical educator – “The majority of those earning between 133-400% of the Federal Poverty Level are working—without any safety net. They constitute ‘the working poor.’ They are not, as some suggest, “freeloaders.” Quite simply, those with Medicaid attain better health. The data proves it. Your alternative ‘plan’ of doing more of the same strikes me as both mean-spirited and inhumane to your fellow Oklahomans—whether they voted for you or not.”
  • Craig Jones, President of the Oklahoma Hospital Association – “Hospitals continue to be the safety net for their communities, including the one-in-six Oklahomans who are uninsured. Today, Oklahoma hospitals provide nearly $600 million annually in uncompensated care. Without increased coverage for the uninsured, such as Medicaid expansion would provide, these costs are shifted to businesses and those who have insurance, contributing to increased health care costs. Oklahoma’s elected leaders cannot continue to opine on the need for a healthier Oklahoma without supporting and establishing public policies that promote health and improve access to care.”
  • Richard Boone, President of St. John Medical Center Foundation in Tulsa, and Chairman of the Tulsa Chamber’s health care task force – “The economic benefits of providing health insurance to thousands of Oklahomans and creating demand for many more health professionals in the state will result in more state revenue than the program will cost. This is the best economic development deal the state has seen in decades.”
  • Dr. Mike Crutcher, former state health commissioner and current director of medical quality at Variety Care – “This is a moral and ethical issue. It is the morally and ethically right thing to do — to strive to provide health care to as many as Oklahomans as is absolutely possible. Other people in the world do it. Other states in the Union do it, and we should be able to do it also.”

Business Persons

  • Jake Henry Jr., President and CEO of Saint Francis Health System and 2013 Chairman of the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors -“Had Oklahoma expanded its Medicaid program, it would have protected rural and safety-net hospitals from being pushed to the brink by their growing costs in caring for the uninsured. It also would have injected as much as $10 billion into the economy, saved and created thousands of Oklahoma jobs, and provided health-care coverage to some 200,000 currently uninsured and low-income Oklahomans. Saying ‘no’ to this plan will not save these federal dollars from being spent, nor will these federal dollars be directed to deficit reduction. Instead, Oklahoma’s tax dollars will simply be passed to other states, generating jobs and providing health care for citizens in Colorado, California, New Mexico, Nevada, and most recently Arizona, or any other Medicaid expansion state.”
  • Amy Dunn, Vice President at CB Richard Ellis – “It would mean approximately 130,000 Oklahomans who earn less than $10 per hour would finally have health insurance, helping them pay for primary health care and stay out of hospital emergency rooms. Providing health care access is pro-business, and by pulling together to improve the lives of all Oklahomans, it is pro-Oklahoma. Fallin and many legislators ran their campaigns on a pro-business platform, promising to make good fiscal decisions for our state. This is their chance to prove it.”
  • Mike Neal, President and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce – “Ideally, the chamber would’ve liked to have seen Gov. Fallin recognize the possible benefits of expanded Medicaid funding. The health of our employees and workforce is integral to our success and therefore is a priority consideration when making decisions that impact our economy.”
  • Amanda Austin, Director of federal public policy for the National Federation of Independent Business – “Business owners may be exposed [to higher costs] if the expansion does not go through.”
  • Oklahoma City and Tulsa hospital executives – “By devising an Oklahoma plan that uses expansion money, we can recapture federal tax dollars and use them to control the cost of health care and enhance the access to and the quality of care. The funding to cover the additional 17 million uninsured people nationwide and 180,000 in Oklahoma has already been allotted. The allotment is drawn from the federal taxes Oklahomans pay. In short, it is Oklahoma taxpayer money.”

Uninsured Citizens and Advocates

  • William Noel, Pastor of Grace and Glory Baptist Church -“These aren’t homeless people who don’t have jobs. In our free clinic, we see people all the time from various professions – teachers, small-business owners, and a lot of truck drivers. In fact, I don’t have insurance. Many people would be surprised at the variety of Oklahomans without health insurance.”
  • Claudia Reynolds-LeBlanc, part-time retail worker from  Hot Springs, Arkansas – “I pay my taxes and my taxes go to the federal government and I’ll be basically paying taxes for people in other states to have the expansion when I can’t get it myself.”
  • Chris Gatliff, a Lawton restaurant worker making below the poverty line and a diabetic – “If she could just not worry about the politics and do what’s right for the people of Oklahoma — that’s what her job is. That’s what politicians forget sometimes.”
  • Perlinda George, student at Oklahoma City Community College hoping to be covered under the Medicaid expansion – “I tried with DHS (Oklahoma Department of Human Services) to get some kind of medical (insurance), but they turned me down because I’m going to school. They basically told me to come back when I drop out. My goal is to get through school, and that way I can get medical.”
  • Michael Gonidakis, President of Ohio Right to Life – “We support this critical initiative [Medicaid expansion] which undoubtedly will help the most vulnerable in Ohio and save lives.”
  • Anne Warhover, President and CEO of the Colorado Health Foundation – “Expanding public health insurance to greater numbers of vulnerable Coloradans — in many cases, hard-working families — will bring more jobs, strengthen the state’s economy and generate higher household earnings, which benefit all Coloradans. The economic boost from Medicaid expansion makes it fiscally responsible, and the return on investment will result in a more competitive Colorado by helping make our state the healthiest in the nation.”
  • Chris Hansen, President of American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network – “States have an opportunity to provide millions of currently uninsured people nationwide with lifesaving health coverage through Medicaid, and public sentiment in various areas of the country is decidedly in favor of states using available federal dollars to pay for it.”
  • Andy Hyman, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – “Many people assume all veterans have access to health coverage through the Department of Veterans Affairs, but that’s not the case,…Expanding Medicaid will go a long way toward ensuring that those who put their lives on the line for our country have access to the healthcare they need and deserve.”

Oklahoma Elected Officials

  • Rep. Doug Cox, R – Grove, an emergency room physician at Integris Grove General Hospital – [Brandon] “Dutcher, [Vice President of Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs] tries to make the issue of extending Medicaid coverage a partisan one, asserting only that the ‘organized left’ and the ‘crony capitalist/health care provider(s)’ support caring for the poor.  Really? The Republican values that I’m most proud of include not only compassion but fiscal responsibility….While Dutcher makes this an issue of political parties, I choose to make it an issue about people — specifically tax-paying Oklahomans, who will see $8.6 billion of their tax money go to Florida or any of the more than 20 other states for their health care.”
  • Rep. Doug Cox,  – “The Affordable Care Act is now an unavoidable reality; states would be worse off turning down the federal dollars due to the uncontested problem that all states face with access for the working poor. My colleagues and I in the Legislature need to think in terms of how to solve this issue, not how to stop it.”
  • Rep. Doug Cox,  – “Most people who would have been affected by the expansion of Medicaid are not deadbeats, but hard-working Oklahomans trying to raise their children and make a better life for themselves. They have lower wage jobs, without employer-provided insurance”.
  • Glenn Davis, Shawnee dentist explaining his decision to quit the State Board of Health – “Here’s an opportunity to make a major impact, and we refuse it. It just doesn’t make any sense to me”

Out of State Elected Officials

  • Jan Brewer, Republican Governor of Arizona – “Weigh the evidence and do the math. With the realities facing us, taking advantage of this federal assistance is the strategic way to reduce Medicaid pressure on the State budget. We can prevent health care expenses from eroding core services such as education and public safety, and improve Arizona’s ability to compete in the years ahead.”
  • Susan Martinez, Republican Governor of New Mexico – “We have an obligation to provide an adequate level of basic health care services for those most in need in our state. In deciding to expand Medicaid, I weighed every possible outcome and impact. Ultimately, this decision comes down to what is best for New Mexicans.”
  • Brian Sandoval, Republican Governor of Nevada – “Though I have never liked the Affordable Care Act because of the individual mandate it places on citizens, the increased burden on businesses and concerns about access to health care, the law has been upheld by the Supreme Court. As such, I am forced to accept it as today’s reality and I have decided to expand Nevada’s Medicaid coverage.”
  • Michael Lamoureux, President of Arkansas State Senate – “I think from the liberal and progressive side, people want to see more people covered by Medicaid. From the conservative side, people are worried about the long-term financial risk to the state. There’s a rare opportunity to couple the two.”
  • Rick Snyder, Republican Governor of Michigan – “This makes sense for the physical and fiscal health of Michigan. Expansion will create more access to primary care providers, reduce the burden on hospitals and small businesses, and save precious tax dollars.”
  • Jack Dalrymple, Republican Governor of North Dakota – “We try to leave the politics out in the hallway when we make these decisions. In the end, it comes down to are you going to allow your people to have additional Medicaid money that comes at no cost to us, or aren’t you? We’re thinking, yes, we should.”
  • John Kasich, Republican Governor of Ohio – “I can’t look at the disabled, I can’t look at the poor, I can’t look at the mentally ill, I can’t look at the addicted and think we ought to ignore them. For those that live in the shadows of life, those who are the least among us, I will not accept the fact that the most vulnerable in our state should be ignored. We can help them.”
  • Rick Scott, Republican Governor of Florida – “It shouldn’t depend on your Zip code or your tax bracket. No mother or father should despair over whether they have access to high-quality health care for their sick child. With federal funds covering the cost, I cannot in good conscience deny Floridians that needed access to health care.”
  • Chris Christi, Republican Governor of New Jersey – “Accepting these federal resources will provide health insurance to thousands of low-income New Jerseyans and actually save taxpayers money.”


  • Tulsa World Editorial Board – “It’s true there are some unknowns regarding the Medicaid expansion. But we know the system we have now – which is basically no system at all – is unsustainable, inhumane and outrageously costly. And nobody has offered any better alternative.”

Economists and Policy Experts

  • Oklahoma Policy Institute’s Board of Directors – “We know that as leaders of Oklahoma’s executive and legislative branches, you each have a steadfast commitment to doing what is best for Oklahoma’s citizens. In this case, we trust this will lead you to give renewed consideration to expanding Medicaid coverage for low-income adults.”
  • Dr. Mickey Hepner, Dean of the UCO College of Business – “We just turned away additional money that could’ve generated billions of dollars of economic growth in this state. From an anti-poverty perspective, that was a mistake. From an economic development perspective, it was an incredible mistake. It was an incredible opportunity that was wasted. Healthier and wealthier? Apparently not in Oklahoma.”
  • Stephen F. Gold, an attorney in Philadelphia who has brought numerous lawsuits related to Medicaid and to the Americans with Disabilities Act – “This is a train wreck waiting to happen — for low-income patients and the hospitals. The bottom lines seem clear: Expand Medicaid for the 470,000 poorest citizens, get a terrific rate of return and avoid a hospital disaster.”





Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.