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All articles by Tiece Dempsey

Growing the supply of primary care providers

by | September 24th, 2013 | Posted in Blog, Healthcare | Comments (1)

Primary-Care-physicians-554x350With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) many uninsured Oklahomans will have access to health insurance coverage starting in 2014. The influx of newly insured Oklahomans will create a greater demand for health care services. This could cause potential problems in Oklahoma because of the current lack of primary care providers (PCPs) in the state. Oklahoma currently ranks 49th in access to primary care physicians with only 81.7 physicians per 100,000 people.

Back in August, OK Policy released a Health Care Actions Item Brief that introduced smart policy reforms to improve Oklahoma’s health outcomes. The brief suggested that growing the supply of PCPs would be one way Oklahoma could work towards creating healthier citizens. Increasing PCPs can be accomplished through prioritizing investments to keep primary care physicians in the state, expanding training and scope of practice for non-physician health care providers, and taking advantage of federal funding to increase the health care workforce.

continue reading Growing the supply of primary care providers

Weekly Wonk September 22, 2013

by | September 22nd, 2013 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy, Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

the_weekly_wonkThe Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage.  Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know.  Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

OK Policy released a fact sheet on what you need to know about Oklahoma’s new health insurance marketplace opening for enrollment October 1. We discussed new Census data that showed the number of uninsured children in Oklahoma continues to fall due to coverage offered through Oklahoma’s Medicaid program and also showed stagnant incomes in Oklahoma with many families still living in poverty.

20121112_111112foodstamp03_33We also looked at Oklahoma’s improbable victory over big tobacco and explained what the cuts  to low income – food and nutrition programs would mean for Oklahoma, including an infographic showing who would be affected.

Policy Analyst Gene Perry wrote an editorial for the Oklahoman discussing the impact of severe cuts to Education in Oklahoma. OK Policy Director David Blatt was quoted in a Tulsa Urban Weekly article discussing the Insurance Commissioner John Doak’s unwillingness to provide information about the Affordable Care Act. Blatt’s Journal Record column explained why Oklahoma policymakers are heading the wrong way if they want to improve our state’s prosperity. KGOU shared audio from a panel at OK Policy’s 2013 Summer Policy Institute where analysts discussed the GOP takeover in Oklahoma and future trends in Oklahoma politics.

Numbers of the Day

  • 45.2 percent – Percentage growth in the purchase price of a residential home in Oklahoma since 2000, just slightly more than growth in national home prices (42.6 percent)
  • 4th – Oklahoma’s rank nationally for the share of residents whose bachelor’s degrees are in education, 21.2 percent versus 16.0 percent nationally
  • 24 percent – The percentage of working age adults in Oklahoma who don’t have health insurance
  • $132.90 – Average per month per person SNAP or ‘food stamp’ nutrition benefit
  • $44,312 – Median household income in Oklahoma in 2012, down 3.7 percent from 2007

Policy Notes

  • New research showed that school field trips to art museums improve critical thinking, historical empathy, and tolerance, but financial pressures and emphasis on standardized tests are making them rare.
  • The New Republic discussed how more states led by Republican Governors are accepting federal funds to extend Medicaid.
  • The American Prospect explained the troubling racial history of a rule that excludes home care workers from minimum wage and overtime protections. The Obama administration recently announced that this policy will end in January.
  • The Atlantic Cities reported on new research that proves that households’ receiving public housing vouchers do not raise city or neighborhood crime rates, despite popular arguments that they do.

What you need to know about Oklahoma’s new Health Insurance Marketplace

[Download fact sheet]

Beginning October 1 and lasting until March 31, 2014, Oklahomans without access to affordable health insurance through their employer or a government sponsored plan will be able to purchase a plan through the new Health Insurance Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov or calling (800) 318-2596.

Also starting October 1st, Oklahomans will be able to dial 2-1-1 to get general information about the Affordable Care Act, the Health Insurance Marketplace, or to find help locating in-person assistance. Oklahoma Health Insurance Marketplace resources will also be available on-line at www.211Oklahoma.org.

continue reading What you need to know about Oklahoma’s new Health Insurance Marketplace

Weekly Wonk September 15, 2013

by | September 15th, 2013 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy, Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

the_weekly_wonkThe Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage.  Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know.  Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

 OK Policy released a statement about Insurance Commissioner John Doak’s claims that insurance premiums will “skyrocket” next year due to the Affordable Care Act. OK Policy Director David Blatt’s Journal Record column explained the three simple reforms at the heart of Obamacare.

A new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that Oklahoma has made the deepest cuts to school funding in the nation since the start of the recession. Policy Analyst Gene Perry was quoted on Public Radio Tulsa and by the Lawton Constitution discussing the report. Perry also gave his thoughts on the report during an interview with Emory Bryan, a Newson6 reporter.

moneywrappedaspresentThe OK Policy Blog looked at Oklahoma’s uneven progress on reforming the child welfare system and noted that the temporary extension of Insure Oklahoma revealed a longer-term solution to the state’s high uninsurance rate – if the state is willing to accept it. We also discussed how the arms race to offer businesses ever-more generous tax breaks is lose-lose for cities and states. Lastly we announced that Policy Analyst Tiece Dempsey and Outreach Coordinator Megan Benn will be leaving OK Policy within the next few weeks.

Numbers of the Day

  • $30.8 million – Amount of funding schools districts will lose in 2013 as a result of the ban on intangible property taxes, which primarily benefits telecommunications companies and electric companies
  • 6th – Oklahoma’s rank among the states for the share of aged 50+ households with a person that has any disability, 42.1 percent versus 33 .7 percent nationally
  • 69.7 percent – Oklahoma’s average loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for residential mortgages (loan balance/current property value), versus 62.5 percent nationally; the higher the LTV, the riskier the loan is for the lender.
  • 49.9 percent – The percentage of Medicaid-enrolled kids in Oklahoma who do not receive dental care
  • $810 – Amount per student cut from K-12 education in Oklahoma between 2008 and 2014

Policy Notes

Weekly Wonk September 8, 2013

by | September 8th, 2013 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy, Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

The Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage.  Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know.  Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

 OK Policy Director David Blatt’s Journal Record column examined how Oklahoma police, district attorneys, and private contractors are profiting from confiscating Oklahomans’ property without due process.

AT&TThe OK Policy blog featured its last post in a three part series on the private prison industry by summer intern Matt Simmons. In this post we looked at how the private prison industry has attempted to influence public policy through lobbying and campaign contributions. The first post looked at the history of private prisons in Oklahoma and how a slew of “tough on crime” measures passed in the 1980s accelerated an already growing incarceration rate. The second post examined the relative costs and benefits of utilizing private prisons versus public prisons.

We also discussed how State Question 766 will give AT&T a $23 million tax break while costing schools $31 million and we explained how an Oklahoman editorial covering a Cato Institute report presents wildly inaccurate information about poverty and safety net programs in the state.

Numbers of the Day

  • 5th – Oklahoma’s rank among the states for the change in housing prices over the last 5 years, up 4.5 percent since 2008
  • 56,948 – The number of Oklahoma farms that are fully-owned by their operator, rather than part-owned or rented, 66 percent of the state’s farms vs. 69 percent nationally
  • 83.7 percent – Percentage drop in the number of persons receiving TANF (or ‘welfare’) cash assistance in Oklahoma from 1991 and 2011, the 9th largest drop in the U.S
  • 2nd – Oklahoma’s rank for the share of its residents who are “engaged” workers (36 percent) –  involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and their organization – compared to 30 percent nationally

Policy Notes

Weekly Wonk September 1, 2013

by | September 1st, 2013 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy, Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

The Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage.  Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know.  Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

 Headwater Economics in conjunction with the Oklahoma Policy Institute released a report which showed that Oklahoma’s taxes on oil and gas production are among the nation’s lowest, and they would remain relatively low even if the state eliminated tax breaks for horizontal drilling. StateImpact Oklahoma highlighted the report in an article in which it featured OK Policy Director David Blatt explaining the sever consequences of these continued tax breaks. The Tulsa World also highlighted the report.

medprespostThe OK Policy blog discussed how civil asset forfeitures have allowed Oklahoma police and private contractors to seize citizens’ property without due process. We also examined the role of intergenerational transfers in perpetuating Oklahoma’s racial wealth gap.

Lastly, we highlighted a bipartisan, national push that is growing against mandatory minimum sentences. Oklahoma still has at least 122 mandatory minimums on the books and even relatively minor offenses can mean years-long sentences. This week in Blatt’s Journal Record column, he discussed how a hit new TV series is drawing attention to over-incarceration.

Numbers of the Day

  • 1.5 percent – The average annual drop in Oklahoma’s violent crime rate between 2007 and 2011, compared to a 5 percent annual dip nationally
  • 75 percent – The percentage of Oklahoma restaurant servers and fast food workers who earn a family income at or below the poverty level and have no health insurance
  • $2.7 million – Amount deposited this fiscal year (FY 2014) into the state’s ‘rainy day fund’, officially Oklahoma’s Constitutional Reserve Fund
  • 53 percent – The percentage of Oklahoma adults who are affiliated with the Evangelical Protestant tradition of Christianity, compared to just 26 percent nationally
  • 122 – The number of mandatory minimum sentences on the books in Oklahoma – including altering or covering the serial number on a motor (1 year) and stealing a hog (3 years)

Policy Notes

Weekly Wonk Sunday August 25, 2013

by | August 25th, 2013 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy, Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

The Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage.  Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know.  Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

 OK Policy Director David Blatt was quoted in an Oklahoma Watch article discussing the lack of state effort in promoting the new health insurance marketplace in Oklahoma opening Oct. 1st and interviewed by StateImpact Oklahoma regarding the tax subsidies for horizontal drilling. David’s Journal Record column explained how Oklahoma businesses and families are paying the price for state leaders’ obstruction of the new health care law. Policy analyst Tiece Dempsey was featured  in the article photo section of an Oklahoma Watch piece providing questions and answers about the new health insurance marketplace.

Health Action Items

On our blog we discussed how the number of state employees in Oklahoma remains well below the levels of the decade before the Great Recession. We also released a report outlining action items to improve Oklahoma’s health  and discussed three reasons why Oklahoma using state funding for pro-marriage advertisements is a bad idea. Lastly we shared a report from the Economic Analysis and Research Network which found more evidence that a well-educated workforce is the most important factor for states’ productivity and wages.

 

Numbers of the Day

  • $70.7M – Amount of state sales, property & income taxes paid annually by undocumented immigrants in Oklahoma
  • 578 – The number of prescription drug overdose deaths in 2012, down from 807 in 2011
  • 28,000 – The number of veteran and armed forces families with children that receive the EITC or low-income child tax credit in Oklahoma
  • 330,000 – The number of Oklahomans that will be eligible to receive premium assistance tax credits through the state’s new online insurance marketplaces in 2014
  • $19,717 – Annual average health allowance for Oklahoma legislators and/or state employees (and their dependents) who receive health insurance as part of their benefit packages.

Policy Notes

Action Items for Oklahoma: Health Care – Improve Health Outcomes through Smart Policy Reforms

This is the third of a seven part series by Oklahoma Policy Institute to propose public policy action items for the state of Oklahoma. These recommendations are aimed at improving the shared prosperity of all Oklahomans while maintaining a fiscally responsible state budget. The first installment made recommendations for tax reform, while the second installment addressed criminal justice reform. Future installments will focus on education, energy, financial security, and jobs.

Download the full issue brief here Health Action Items

Oklahomans are some of the unhealthiest people in America, now ranking 43th overall in a national ranking of health indicators and outcomes. The latest rankings from the United Health Foundation shows that we’re on pace to have the highest rate of obesity in the nation within the next decade, our residents smoke at higher rates than most other states, and only Alabama and Mississippi have higher rates of cardiovascular disease deaths.  Persistent health disparities exist as well, with non-Hispanic blacks having a higher prevalence of tobacco use, sedentary lifestyles, and obesity. Over the past 10 years the infant mortality rate has declined in Oklahoma but black babies are still dying at more than double the rate of white babies.     

continue reading Action Items for Oklahoma: Health Care – Improve Health Outcomes through Smart Policy Reforms

Weekly Wonk Sunday August 18, 2013

by | August 18th, 2013 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy, Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

The Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage.  Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know.  Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

Policy analyst Tiece Dempsey was quoted in Urban Tulsa Weekly’s article discussing the expansion of health coverage for the uninsured. OK Policy Director David Blatt’s Journal Record column discussed some rays of hope for people who feel discouraged about current affairs in Oklahoman.

Prison-LifeOn our blog we noted that uninsured Oklahomans will have access to affordable health insurance options when the new health insurance marketplaces open October 1st.  We also showed that Oklahoma’s poor and middle-class families pay a much larger share of their income in state and local taxes that do the wealthiest and looked at the costs and benefits of recycling programs in Oklahoma cities. Lastly, we shared the story of an Oklahoman serving a long prison sentence for a minor crime.

Numbers of the Day

  • 5.5 percent – Percentage of consumer credit accounts – first mortgages, student loans, credit cards, auto loans, and ‘other’ – that are delinquent in Oklahoma, on par with the national delinquency rate
  • 1st – Oklahoma’s rank among the states for prescription painkiller abuse, which now kills more residents than motor vehicle accidents
  • 397,000 – The projected increase in college graduates that Oklahoma needs to acheive by 2025 to keep its residents prepared for the jobs of the future
  • 13,759 – Number of Oklahomans incarcerated in state prisons for nonviolent offenses, more than half of the total number incarcerated

Policy Notes

Weekly Wonk Sunday August 4, 2013

by | August 4th, 2013 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy, Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

the_weekly_wonk

The Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage.  Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know.  Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

OK Policy Director David Blatt’s Journal Record column explained how help is coming for tens of thousands of Oklahomans desperately in need of health insurance. David was also quoted in an Oklahoman article discussing the ongoing debate regarding tax breaks for horizontal drilling.

arrest graph - crop

On our blog we discussed how calculations of how much income it takes to make ends meet reveal why many hard-working families still need a boost in today’s economy and shared maps showing the geography of race and poverty in Oklahoma City and Tulsa from 1980 to 2010. We also discussed why black Oklahomans are arrested for marijuana possession at a much higher rate than white Oklahomans and reran a blog that showed per pupil spending in the state has dropped significantly since FY 2008.

 

Numbers of the Day

  • 1.96 billion – Gallons of gasoline used in Oklahoma in 2010
  • 72.5% – Percentage of full-time, year-round Oklahoma workers with health insurance reporting ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ health, versus just 58.0% for those without insurance
  • 8.5% – Unemployment rate for Oklahomans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, compared to 5.2% state unemployment overall in 2012
  • 180,559 – The number of K-12 children in Oklahoma that are responsible for taking care of themselves after school, 29% of the state’s kids
  • 4th – Oklahoma’s rank nationally for the share of households in which someone went hungry during the year because they could not afford enough food, 2011

Policy Notes

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