There are moments of shame that linger in history. Images, for example, of white crowds booing at African- American children as they were escorted into school after federal authorities enforced racial integration. Fallin’s public announcement of opting out of Medicaid expansion is a similar moment of shame. Refusing to broaden access to health insurance for Oklahoma’s poor is comparable to historic displays of local and state resistance to earlier benchmarks of progress during the civil rights movement.
I urge Fallin and other state officials to rethink the decision to deprive thousands of Oklahomans of health insurance. It is a historic opportunity. It can be a leap forward through facilitating Medicaid expansion. Or it can be another historically shameful display of state leadership being puny, immoral, and indifferent to the people they are supposed to serve.
—Kevin Acers, Oklahoma City