OHA receives Amicus Curiae status in SQ 802 court challenge

Posted on: 6/7/19


On April 19, an initiative petition was filed with the Secretary of State to expand Medicaid as part of the Oklahoma Constitution. A challenge to the petition was filed by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Jonathan Small, Dr. Doug Beale, and Jennifer Witherby, RN. On Thursday, May 23, the OHA, Oklahoma State Medical Association (OSMA), Oklahoma Osteopathic Association (OOA), Oklahoma Nurses Association (ONA), and Saint Francis Health System filed an application to file as an Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) in support of the initiative petition.

Earlier this week, we were pleased to hear the Oklahoma Supreme Court has granted Amicus Curiae status to the OHA, OSMA, OOA, ONA and Saint Francis Health System. This is very exciting news and means that we were given the opportunity to fully support the need for Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma for health care in our brief submitted yesterday, June 6. The next step will be oral arguments from both sides on Tuesday, June 18, in front of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. We will keep you informed as news develops.

Should the Oklahoma Supreme Court decide that SQ 802 passes all legal challenges, a time clock starts giving supporters 90 days to collect almost 178,000 registered voter signatures to be able to put this on an election ballot for the people to decide the issue. The governor will determine the timing of the election.

An announcement of the parties supportive of SQ 802 will be occurring in the very near future. Should the Oklahoma Supreme Court determine SQ 802 is constitutional, OHA will be providing resources to our membership to get strong engagement on this issue at the local level. Stay tuned for more information on this.

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