Melissa McLain, Fort Gibson
In response to the Muskogkee Phoenix column on Oct. 16: “Fair and Biased: Oklahomans should vote yes on SQ #814”
If you made it to the end of Steve Fair’s Oct. 16 column asking Oklahomans to vote yes on State Question 814, you saw that he provided one of the chief reasons why I’m voting no: We can’t fully trust that the funds would pay for Medicaid expansion. Fair wrote, “Let’s hope future legislatures will also use it as directed.”
It’s not set in stone that funds diverted from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust would pay for Medicaid expansion. That’s a big problem for me – a person who supports Medicaid expansion.
My other issue with State Question 814 is that I know TSET makes Oklahomans healthier. Since it was established, TSET grants have provided proven tobacco control programs that reduced the state’s smoking rate. And its largest grant, to Stephenson Cancer Center, helps cancer patients enroll in clinical trials right here at home. The grant is crucial to the center’s 2018 National Cancer Institute designation, and Stephenson remains the only NCI-Designated Cancer Center in Oklahoma.
Fair is hopeful the Legislature will use diverted funds to pay for Medicaid expansion. That’s not good enough for me. Please join me in voting No on SQ 814.