As allies send nuanced messages, will OK Gov. Mary Fallin stick to her guns on Medicaid expansion?

by Patrick B. McGuigan

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Gov. Fallin has consistently expressed opposition to Medicaid expansion as envisioned in the Affordable Care Act.

However, a close ally said she has “not closed the door” on an expansion along lines envisioned by state advisors in the Leavitt Group, a consulting firm that has examined the state’s options under the legislation known as “ObamaCare.” And, she is under constant pressure to shift her stance by key supporters in the health care industry.

The ally who hinted at Fallin flexibility was Pat McFerron of the consulting firm CMA Strategies. While Fallin has not said she would favor expansion through the state’s program of support for the working poor, he said, “she hasn’t slammed the door either. If it were dead on arrival we wouldn’t be taking our time and energy to do this.”

McFerron’s comments, reported in The Lawton Constitution, came in the context of a late August event where members of the state Hospital Association were encouraging business leaders to support Medicaid expansion.

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