The COVID-19 recession, aggravated by worldwide drops in oil prices, has eliminated hundreds of thousands of Oklahoma jobs. Oklahoma voters have the opportunity to take a major step to address these serious economic problems on June 30, 2020, when they vote on State Question 802, an initiative that would expand Medicaid. Health care is one of the largest sectors in Oklahoma’s economy. If Question 802 is approved, Medicaid expansion would provide an immediate boost to employment while increasing state revenue during what has become the most severe economic downturn in decades:
- Expanding Medicaid would ensure health coverage for 279,000 uninsured Oklahomans, including many who have lost their jobs — and their job-based health insurance — during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- It would also bring more than $1.3 billion in federal health care dollars into Oklahoma, generating $2.3 billion in new economic activity.
- This increased economic activity would yield $123 million in additional sales and income tax revenue to sustain Oklahoma’s state and local budgets.
- The influx of federal dollars would also create 26,000 Oklahoma jobs.