A shameful turn

I would love to see the estimated 150,000
uninsured Oklahomans who could have access to health insurance through
Medicaid expansion arrive on the steps of the state Capitol for Fallin
to meet firsthand. Let her try to explain how it is reasonable and
humane for them to remain uninsured in order for her to score political
points in the neverending fixation on undermining the Obama

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.

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

Kevin Acers

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