Dems. say take politics out of Okla. Medicaid plan

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Democratic leaders in the Oklahoma Legislature say politics is behind Gov. Mary Fallin's decision not to expand the state's Medicaid program.

The state has rejected President Barack Obama's proposal to expand Medicaid for low-income residents who do not have private health insurance. During her State of the State remarks Monday, Fallin said a plan to expand the Medicaid program is "unaffordable."

But Rep. Jerry McPeak of Warner, chairman of the House Democratic caucus, says Fallin's decision was political and that politics should not play a role in the issue.

Sen. Sean Burrage of Claremore, the Senate's Democratic leader, says he believes there needs to be more public awareness. Burrage says many of the roughly 200,000 uninsured low-income Oklahomans who would benefit from the expansion are not aware of the issue.

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