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Oklahoma Engaged

Oklahoma’s Medicaid Expansion Vote Wasn’t As Simple As Urban Versus Rural

Sep 23, 2020

Back in June, Oklahoma voted to expand Medicaid through State Question 802. That vote determined that Oklahoma would open its Medicaid program, SoonerCare, to more adults. About 200,000 Oklahomans are expected to qualify for enrollment under Medicaid expansion.

State of Oklahoma

Although the legality will likely be questioned, the state of Oklahoma has entered into compacts with two more Native American tribes. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss that story and the latest on the state's coronavirus response as schools prepare to open, in the latest Capitol Insider.

This is the Manager’s Minute.

Oklahomans again have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote on August 25th - the statewide Primary Runoff Election.

KGOU will have Oklahoma Engaged coverage on-air, on-line and through our social media channels the night of the election.

This week, we have special nightly programming dedicated to the Democratic National Convention.

Then, next week we’ll do the same for the Republican National Convention, with NPR coverage at 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For Rural Hospitals, Medicaid Expansion Acts As Shot In The Arm

Jul 20, 2020

For the past five years, Roger Knak, the CEO of Fairview Regional Medical Center, has been trying to keep his critical access hospital in rural Oklahoma afloat. The years have been a mixed bag of positive and negative financial margins. The cost to operate the hospital has been more than the revenue from patients.

Oklahoma becomes the 37th state to expand Medicaid, Stephanie Bice and Terry Neese advance to Congressional District 5 Republican runoff, and more than half of Oklahoma legislative races are now decided.

Martha Nell Jones (right) is quick to sign the Medicaid expansion petition because she has several friends “who are in the poverty level who have problems with medical bills and they have been saying how much they need it.”
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

The campaigns on both sides of State Question 802 have made numerous claims about the potential benefits and perils of Medicaid expansion. Independent producer Dan Epstein checked out some of those claims for Oklahoma Engaged.

The Oklahoma Public Media Exchange as part of Oklahoma Engaged is continuing to cover the developing story around Juneteenth celebrations, Donald Trump's rally and protests in Tulsa from June 19-21, 2020. Bookmark this page for the latest updates.

Images Money / Flickr

If State Question 802 passes, approximately 200,000 more people will be eligible for SoonerCare, the state’s Medicaid program. Whether SoonerCare can handle the increased patient population is another question.

Amber England, executive director of Yes on 802, speaks to supporters of Medicaid expansion at the Secretary of State’s office on Oct. 24, 2019, when the group submitted more than 300,000 signatures to add a state question on expansion a ballot in 2020.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Campaign signs are appearing along roadways and advertisements are popping up on screens of all kinds as voters prepare to decide on expanding Medicaid coverage in Oklahoma. The June 30th election for state question 802 was a long time coming.

KGOU/Oklahoma Engaged

This is the Manager’s Minute.

Public radio stations KGOU, KOSU, KCCU and KWGS have now concluded our collaborative Oklahoma Engaged election reporting project, which received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Innovation.

Gov. Kevin Stitt and legislators celebrated a budget deal in the waning days of the session.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Multiple polls show the majority of Oklahoma voters support criminal justice reforms.

Survey data commissioned by Oklahoma Public Radio stations for the Oklahoma Engaged Project also suggest a majority of voters believe the state’s sentencing laws need to be reworked.

Oklahoma is now the number one incarcerator in the country, but only one bill targeting prison population control reached the governor’s desk this session.

Julie Jones, Gaylord College

This is the Manager’s Minute.

KGOU and StateImpact Oklahoma reporters were big winners when the names were announced in the latest Oklahoma journalism awards competition – the Society of Professional Journalists.

All told, KGOU and StateImpact reporters captured 15 of the 24 radio awards.

StateImpact earned six awards, including firsts won by Quinton Chandler, Jackie Fortier, Emily Wendler and Joe Wertz, for Government and Criminal Justice Reporting, Feature Reporting, Diversity Reporting and Special Program.

RTDNA

This is the Manager’s Minute.

It all began with an idea: do election reporting designed to serve the public more than candidates by focusing on issues important to people.

So, we brought together our public radio partners – KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU – to provide in-depth coverage of the 2018 elections and called it Oklahoma Engaged: Project Public Office.

With major funding from the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Kirkpatrick Foundation we knew we had the resources to do something special.  We did.

This is the Manager’s Minute.

In 2018, KGOU and our public radio partners covered Oklahoma politics through Oklahoma Engaged, funded by the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Kirkpatrick Foundation.

The elections are over, but our voter-focused coverage is not.

Oklahoma Engaged continues during this legislative session.

KGOU Radio

This is the Manager’s Minute.

Now that the Oklahoma elections are over, let’s recap what we’ve done so far in the collaborative journalism project, Oklahoma Engaged. With funding from the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Kirkpatrick Foundation:

Update: 11:18 p.m.

Republican Kevin Stitt has defeated Democrat Drew Edmondson and Libertarian Chris Powell to become Oklahoma's next governor. The Tulsa businessman is a political newcomer who largely campaigned on his business background.

With nearly 89 percent of the vote tallied, Stitt leads Edmondson as the top vote-getter by a margin of 54.7 percent to 41.9 percent.

Three Oklahomans Discuss Why They’re Voting In 2018

Nov 6, 2018
Voters participate in early voting at the Oklahoma County Elections Board in Oklahoma City, Thursday, June 19, 2014.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The midterm election is Tuesday and voters across Oklahoma are heading to the polls to decide on local, state and federal races. Election officials have recorded a surge people registering for the 2018 midterms.

Kateleigh Mills interviewed three different Oklahomans from very different backgrounds on why they think voting is important.

This is the Manager’s Minute.

Elections have consequences, and on November 6th, voters across the nation have the opportunity to make their voices heard. Voting is a cherished right, and it’s important for everyone to be informed when they make their ballot decisions.

That’s why we’ve devoted several months to in-depth reporting on issues affecting Oklahomans through our collaborative journalism project, Oklahoma Engaged.

Marijuana leaf
Wikimedia Commons

On this episode of Capitol Insider, Dr. Amy Goodin of OU Poll joins KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley to discuss polling and focus groups commissioned for Oklahoma Engaged, a collaboration between NPR member stations in Oklahoma. Goodin talks about the general “disillusionment” of voters throughout the state, as well as some of their ideas about how to fund public education, the leading political concern in the 2018 election cycle.

 

Kurt Gwartney/ Oklahoma Engaged

Oklahoma’s claim to the buckle of the Bible belt is widely accepted as true. But when it comes to faith and voting, new research shows more residents are letting their political values influence the church they choose.

 

At a recent weekly Sunday morning donut hour at Faith United Methodist Church in Tulsa, people are busy talking about the start of school and the college football season while getting their weekly dose of juice, coffee and donuts.

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