In The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre.
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Today you should know that over 69,000 Oklahomans enrolled in private health insurance plans on Healthcare.gov during the open enrollment period. Oklahoma boasted the second-highest rate of Native Americans enrolled on the Affordable Care Act marketplace. In a survey, Oklahoma’s Native Americans ranked health problems as the most significant challenge facing them in mid-life. Enrollment in Oklahoma’s Medicaid program grew almost 5 percent while the health insurance marketplace was open, although officials say it’s too early to attribute the growth to the Affordable Care Act. On the OK Policy Blog, we explain how critics of accepting federal funds to extend coverage to low-income Oklahomans aren’t telling the whole story. Morton Comprehensive Health Services is forming a foundation to provide philanthropic support to assist in treating clients. Morton and other community health centers in Oklahoma have struggled since the state’s uncompensated care fund ran dry.
Governor Mary Fallin has raised over half a million dollars in the first quarter of her reelection campaign. MSNBC examined Gov. Fallin’s track record as governor. Joy Hofmeister, state schools superintendant challenger, has out-fundraised incumbent Janet Barresi by 4-to-1. State education associations have released a report countering Superintendent Barresi’s claim that school district administrative costs are excessive. TW Shannon’s campaign is drawing fire from some Republican groups, who charge that the US Senate candidate is frequently a “no-show” for campaign events at which his staff had confirmed he would appear.
Oklahoma Policy Institute released a statement condemning a deal that state leaders are arranging with oil and gas executives to extend the horizontal drilling tax break to all wells at 2 percent for four years. A new study suggests links a 5.7 magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma with oil and gas wastewater injection, making it the strongest earthquake ever linked to the oil and gas industry. StateImpact Oklahoma shared audio from a recent forum on how climate change is impacting Oklahoma. Oklahoma wheat farmers are bracing for the worst wheat harvests in decades.
A Gallup poll found that 30 percent of Oklahomans would leave the state to reside elsewhere if given the chance, a figure slightly below the national average. The Midwest Economic Survey Index, which covers nine Midwest and Plains states, hit a three-year high in April, suggesting continuing economic growth over the next three to six months. In an editorial, The Oklahoman criticized the state legislature for voting down sensible measures to reduce Oklahoma’s prison population. Oklahoma State University is one of 55 universities nationwide that is under federal investigation for its handling of sexual assault complaints. Vice News was granted an exclusive look at the Satanic monument being built for the Oklahoma statehouse lawn.
The Number of the Day is the number of Oklahomans who signed up on the Affordable Care Act Marketplace during the open enrollment period. In today’s Policy Note, Paul Krugman discusses how policymakers and politicians have ignored both economics and the lessons of history by pursuing budget austerity during a recession.
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