SoonerCare work requirements will be harmful to families

Multiple bills have been filed this session that would threaten health care coverage for struggling parents. HB 2932 and SB 1179 would end SoonerCare coverage for low-income parents who fail to complete work, training, or volunteer requirements. We have many good options to get people into the workforce, but taking away Oklahomans’ access to health care isn’t one of them.

SoonerCare is how we ensure that very low-income Oklahomans can get a flu shot or see a doctor. It is not a jobs program, and losing access to that health care will only make it more difficult for Oklahomans to stay healthy enough to get or keep a job. Dropping coverage for an inhaler or ADHD medication will only make people less employable.

Work requirements will force Oklahomans to navigate extra bureaucracy to prove they qualify for SoonerCare. Oklahomans who cannot successfully navigate that bureaucracy due to lack of time, education, transportation, or other resources will lose coverage, even when they should legally be qualified. Whole families will suffer as a result.

HB 2932 is on the Senate legislative agenda for TODAY. Please call your state senator and ask them to vote NO to HB 2932.

SB 1179 is waiting to be heard in the full House Appropriations & Budget committee. Please call your state representative and ask them to vote NO to SB 1179.

Published by Sabine Brown

Sabine Brown joined the Oklahoma Policy Institute as Housing Senior Policy Analyst in January 2022. She previously worked at OK Policy from January 2018 until September 2020 as the Outreach and Legislative Director, and earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa. Before joining OK Policy she served as the Oklahoma Chapter Leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Sabine also earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Health Science from the University of Oklahoma and was a physician assistant prior to discovering advocacy work. She grew up in Germany but has called Oklahoma home since 1998.