American Kidney Fund Applauds Oklahoma Voters for Approving Medicaid Expansion


ROCKVILLE, Md. (July 1, 2020)—This statement may be attributed to LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund:

“This morning hundreds of thousands of Oklahoma residents previously ineligible for Medicaid woke up to good news. Last night voters narrowly approved the initiative to expand Medicaid at a time when the state is seeing a big increase in enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Oklahoma joins several other states—Maine, Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska—where voters have approved Medicaid expansion ballot initiatives over the last few years, after state lawmakers or governors had rejected Medicaid expansion in prior years. Voters in Missouri will get to decide whether their state passes Medicaid expansion later this summer.

“This is an important step forward for patients in Oklahoma that is long overdue. With the second-highest uninsured rate in the county, and 59% of the uninsured in the Medicaid coverage gap, this measure will now ensure that low-income patients will not have to choose between feeding their families and seeking needed medical care.

“While this change in Oklahoma will go into effect in July 2021, we are advocating at the federal level for another increase in the Medicaid Federal Matching Assistance Percentages (FMAP) to ensure that state Medicaid programs remain solvent during the pandemic. People’s lives depend on their ability to access health care, and for many of the most vulnerable Americans, Medicaid provides that access. States simply cannot absorb the additional economic fallout from swelling Medicaid enrollments.

“The access to health care that Medicaid provides is crucial to health and financial stability of millions of people living with and at risk for kidney disease.”

About the American Kidney Fund

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. AKF is one of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, investing 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, and holds the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

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