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2020 Oklahoma State Question 802

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State Question 802
Oklahoma Medicaid Expansion Initiative
Votes %
Yes 340,572 50.49%
No 334,019 49.51%
Total votes 674,591 100.00%

2020 Oklahoma Question 802.svg
Source: Oklahoma State Election Board[1]

Oklahoma Question 802, the Oklahoma Medicaid Expansion Initiative, was a 2020 ballot measure on the June 30 ballot (alongside primaries for various statewide offices) to expand Medicaid in the state of Oklahoma. It passed narrowly, over the objections of many prominent state elected officials, such as Oklahoma's governor Kevin Stitt. Medicaid expansion went into effect on July 1, 2021.


The proposal was listed on ballots as follows:[2][3]

Medicaid is a government-sponsored health insurance program for qualifying low-income persons. This measure would add a provision to the Oklahoma Constitution requiring the State to expand Medicaid coverage. The expanded coverage would include certain persons over 18 and under 65 who are not already covered and whose annual income, as calculated under federal law, is at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty line. The federal poverty line changes annually, but for example if this measure were in effect in 2019, the measure generally would have covered a single adult making less than $17,236 annually and adults in a family of four making less than $35,535 annually.

Under this measure the State cannot create additional restrictions that make it more difficult to qualify for expanded Medicaid coverage than it is to qualify for the Medicaid program currently in place.

The Medicaid program is funded jointly by the federal government and the State. This measure would require the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) to try to maximize federal funding for Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma. If the measure is approved, OHCA has 90 days to submit all documents necessary to obtain federal approval for implementing Medicaid expansion by July 1, 2021.

The wording was challenged by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a conservative think tank, which claimed that it was unconstitutional and misrepresenting what the measure actually does.[4] The Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected their challenge.[5]

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Yes on 802 campaign material
Yes on 802 campaign material

The Oklahoma Hospital Association, Oklahoma State Medical Association, Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, Oklahoma Nurses Association, and Saint Francis Health System filed a joint brief endorsing the proposal, writing "the initiative petition will allow the citizens of Oklahoma to demand that the state accept the federal dollars that 36 other states and the District of Columbia have already accepted in order to bring Medicaid coverage to many of their fellow Oklahomans who remain uninsured."[4]

Oklahoma Senate Democrats supported the proposal and released a statement after its passage thanking voters.[6]

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Many prominent Republican politicians in Oklahoma, such as the governor Kevin Stitt, and the Oklahoma Senate Appropriations Chairman Roger Thompson, opposed the proposal, citing its potential costs and claiming that cuts to other areas such as education might be necessary.[7]


Question 802[1]
Choice Votes %
Referendum passed Yes 340,572 50.49
No 334,019 49.51
Total votes 674,591 100.00

The ballot measure passed narrowly, with 50.49% voting in favor to 49.51% voting against. Much of the proposal's support came from Tulsa and Oklahoma City. 90% of counties in Oklahoma voted against the proposal.[8]


Medicaid expansion was scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2021.[9]

On August 2, 2021, the Tulsa World reported that over 150,000 additional Oklahomans received SoonerCare due to the effects of the Medicaid expansion.[10]

Source: "2020 Oklahoma State Question 802", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, June 20th),

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  1. ^ a b "OK Election Results". Oklahoma State Election Board. Archived from the original on August 6, 2020. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  2. ^ "802" (PDF). Oklahoma Secretary of State. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 7, 2020. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  3. ^ Putnam, Carly (July 19, 2019). "Oklahomans vote on SQ 802 on June 30. Here are the facts". Oklahoma Policy Institute. Archived from the original on October 21, 2020. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Casteel, Chris (June 8, 2019). "Medicaid expansion would cut uninsured rate, keep hospitals open, Oklahoma medical providers say". The Oklahoman. GateHouse Media, LLC. Archived from the original on September 23, 2020. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  5. ^ Murphy, Sean (June 18, 2019). "Oklahoma high court rejects challenge on Medicaid expansion". AP NEWS. The Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 7, 2020. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  6. ^ Floyd, Kay (July 1, 2020). "Statement from Senate Democrats on Passage of State Question 802 for Medicaid Expansion". Oklahoma Senate. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  7. ^ Brown, Trevor (January 29, 2020). "As Medicaid Expansion Push Heats Up, Funding Battle Lurks in Background". Oklahoma Watch. Archived from the original on April 6, 2020. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  8. ^ Fortier, Jack (July 1, 2020). "Oklahoma Votes For Medicaid Expansion Over Objections Of Republican State Leaders". NPR. Archived from the original on November 10, 2020. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  9. ^ "OKHA - SoonerCare 2.0". Oklahoma Health Care Authority. Archived from the original on October 1, 2020. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  10. ^ Staff Reports (August 2, 2021). "More than 150,000 Oklahomans Now Receiving SoonerCare Through Expansion". Tulsa World. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
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