Finances are tight in Oklahoma. In homes from Tulsa to Boise City and everywhere in between people are relearning the importance of being frugal as they continue to wait for the economy to reawaken. This same mentality is true at the State Capitol, where Gov. Kevin Stitt recently took a stand for fiscal responsibility by pulling back from plans to expand Medicaid to able-bodied adults—a plan that would have cost taxpayers billions over the next decade.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out a lot of knee-jerk reactions from leaders at every level of government. But while many lawmakers have used the pandemic as an excuse to flout financial responsibility and bust through budgets without thought of the repercussions, it is refreshing to see Gov. Stitt remain steadfast in his support for preserving Medicaid resources for the truly needy by opposing the irresponsible expansion of Medicaid to include a new population of able-bodied adults that the program was not created to support.
Medicaid was designed to provide access to health care for low-income children, pregnant women, individuals with disabilities, and the elderly—people with nowhere else to turn for assistance. But ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion opens up this safety net program far beyond the program’s mission to include millions of able-bodied, working-age adults—and at great cost to states.