Medicaid advocates say petition meets signature requirement

Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Supporters of a proposal to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma said they have enough signatures to put a state question on the ballot next year.

Yes on 802’s campaign manager Amber England said the community organization collected the state requirement of 178,000 signatures, which must be verified, The Oklahoman reported.

The proposed question would amend the state’s constitution and expand Medicaid coverage to adults between ages 18 and 65 whose income does not exceed 133% of the federal poverty level.

England said Thursday on a conference call for the campaign’s volunteers that more signatures will be gathered until the Oct. 28 deadline to serve as a cushion in case someone should challenge the petition.

“We need to deliver a message that will resonate across the state later this month when we turn in these signatures,” England said.

“Our goal has never been to turn in the bare number of signatures needed to make the ballot,” she told supporters. “We know that opponents are going to do everything in their power to prevent Oklahomans from getting the chance to vote on this. We’re just not going to let that happen.”

Conservative think-tank Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs challenged the initial plan, but the Oklahoma Supreme Court blocked it.

After the petition is approved by the secretary of state’s office, there will be a 10-day period for people to object.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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