It’s time to collect.

Oklahoma taxpayers have been funding Medicaid expansion in other states, why shouldn’t we do the same for ourselves?

The News Press Editorial Board is endorsing a “yes” vote on State Question 802, which will be on the June 30 ballot.

A “yes” vote expands Medicaid eligibility to more low income adults, meaning even some of those who aren’t quite at federal poverty levels, but are still pretty close, will qualify. By most estimates, in Oklahoma, that’s a few hundred thousand people who are either uninsured or underinsured, but would now be able to expanded into the Affordable Care Act.

A “no” vote is a vote against this change in the state constitution.

There is an argument against expansion, because Oklahoma still has to fund a percentage of this insurance.

That argument fails to look at the big picture.

An ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure, that old chestnut, that’s how we look at Medicaid expansion. If more people can get preventative care, fewer people will need catastrophic care.

People who can’t afford basic medical care, definitely can’t afford catastrophic care.

More people will be productive members of the workforce, who will in turn contribute more to Oklahoma’s bottom line than it will have cost us.

And it’s already cost us.

We’ve paid in billions to the federal government, so now it’s time to collect.

Also, it’s a really decent thing to do. We look at the numbers and the macroeconomics of it, because we know it speaks to people. We know that money talks.

But, it’s about our love for humanity, as well. It’s a kindness.

We could use a bit more of that.

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