June 15, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – “For the Children” Weekly Column
Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy
Telephone: (405) 833-1117
For the Children: A Weekly Column by Joe Dorman, CEO – OICA
Big Decisions for Voters on June 30; OICA Supports SQ 802
On June 30, Oklahomans have several decisions to make when they go to the polls.
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy has submitted to the candidates running for state and federal office a questionnaire on important issues relating to children. The survey allows those candidates to let voters know their positions on ten questions:
- “What would you do to close the opportunity gap for the millions of children now being left behind?”
- “What will you do to improve the early years of a child’s life?
- “Do you see pre-school as an essential part of the education system?”
- “What would you do to make college more accessible for those who want to go?”
- “What would you do to help limit the trauma experienced by children living in Oklahoma?”
- “What would you do to ensure that every child has access to the best available medical and dental care?”
- “What would you do to reduce incarceration, but preserve the safety of children, in Oklahoma?”
- “How would you improve policies benefiting children in foster care or under the Office of Juvenile Affairs?”
- “What are your thoughts on preserving parental rights while protecting children from injury, harm, or disease under the law?”
- “What would you like to express about your views of child advocacy that we did not ask you?”
I encourage you to ask the candidates running in your area to take the time to answer these questions if they have not filled out their questionnaire. To date, 40 candidates have completed the survey, including ten incumbents. We appreciate these candidates for their willingness to let voters know where they stand on important issues. We will post responses at http://oica.org/2020-candidate-questionnaire-responses/
A vital state question also is on the June 30 ballot: State Question 802. Each year, Oklahomans send a billion federal tax dollars to 36 other states that have expanded Medicaid for their citizens; Oklahoma is one of only 14 states that has not. As a result, Oklahoma has the second-worst insured rate in the United States, as many employers cannot provide insurance or participate in Insure Oklahoma.
Passing SQ 802 and expanding Medicaid will bring home that billion dollars a year and provide health care to 200,000 more Oklahomans – children and adults. Studies show that children whose families are covered by Medicaid are 29% more likely to have at least one well-child visit per year than those children who do not.
Economically, recapturing these tax dollars is estimated to create at least 27,000 new jobs over the next five years. Further, if passed, SQ 802 will boost rural hospitals, clinics, and ambulance services – lifelines for children and their families in small-town Oklahoma.
Six rural communities recently lost their hospitals, and almost 30 more are at risk. A “yes” vote on State Question 802 will help those doctors, hospitals and ambulance services remain a vibrant part of their communities and provide health care to 59% of the uninsured Oklahomans, moving Oklahoma closer to a “top ten” state in health care.
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy strongly supports SQ 802, and we hope you will vote “Yes on 802,” along with going to oica.org/SQ802 to learn more and watch our newly-released support video! Please also support candidates who are child-friendly on June 30!
This week’s child advocate is Chad Alexander, and the statistic of the week is, “Poverty in Oklahoma (15.8%) remains above the national average of 13.4%.”