While some elected officials stayed silent on this issue and others even voiced opposition, the people of Tulsa voiced their overwhelming support for Medicaid expansion. Together, we sent a message to the country that no one in our community should have their access to quality, affordable healthcare hindered because of employment or income status.

In a city where nearly one in five individuals under 65 remain uninsured, this decision will undoubtedly save lives.

This issue is not political to me – it is personal.

My mom, Debra Kawee Robinson has been battling the Primary Progressive course of Multiple Sclerosis since 1988. She was able to continue her work as senior accountant for the Williams Companies before retiring due to disability in 1993. In 2003 she lost her husband and primary care-giver, to a sudden death.

My brother and I, at the time ages 11 & 13, lost our father and financial provider.

Thankfully, through the love and selflessness of family and friends and access to Medicaid/Medicare health benefits my mom has been able to enjoy a stable living environment.

We know that before yesterday’s vote there were hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans who didn’t have that security.

I’m so thankful and so proud of Tulsans for their overwhelming support for Medicaid expansion, sending the clear message that access to quality, affordable healthcare is a right for all and not a privilege for some.

When we come together, we can shift what is possible. We did that last night, and I know we can do that again.

In this profound and difficult time for the city we all love, we can work to build something better; not just for ourselves, but for every mom and dad, aunt and uncle, brother and sister, son and daughter that call Tulsa home.

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