In The Know: Medicaid expansion closing gap on uninsured rate | Active COVID cases up 250% | Canoo plant may be delayed | More

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Some stories included here are behind paywall or require subscription. OK Policy encourages the support of Oklahoma’s state and local media, which are vital to an informed citizenry. Subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Oklahoma News

Oklahoma’s uninsured rate cut by one-third during first year of expanded Medicaid: A year after Oklahoma expanded Medicaid eligibility, the state’s uninsured rate has fallen significantly but still remains relatively high, according to a report the Oklahoma Policy Institute released last week. [Tulsa World

  • Medicaid expansion brings better health outcomes to nearly 300,000 Oklahomans [Fox 25] | [KTUL]
  • New Report Looks At First-Year Impacts Of Medicaid Expansion In Oklahoma [News 9

NEW FROM OK POLICY: Medicaid Expansion in Oklahoma: Year One looks at how Medicaid expansion has increased health care access, improved health outcomes, and strengthened our economy. Hear from Oklahomans who have been impacted by increased health care access via Medicaid expansion [YouTube]

Facing conflict of interest accusations, Oklahoma agency chief Elliot Chambers will resign: The head of an obscure state agency managing a multi-billion-dollar portfolio announced he will resign Aug. 3, just weeks after media began reporting on a possible conflict of interest with one of the agency’s investments. [The Oklahoman

Canoo’s proposed electric vehicle plant in Pryor could be delayed, industrial park head says: Plans by electric vehicle start-up Canoo to build a production plant at Mid-America Industrial Park may be delayed by unfavorable economic conditions, the head of the park said Thursday. [Tulsa World

Hospital officials talk COVID with active cases up 250% since end of May: With a new but not unexpected uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations, Saint Francis Health System officials spoke Thursday about variants, vaccines for children and vulnerability. [Tulsa World

May tornado, flooding victims in seven Oklahoma counties eligible for federal assistance: President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration Thursday for areas of Oklahoma affected by severe weather in May. [The Oklahoman] The President ordered Federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in areas affected by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding from May 2nd to May 8th of this year. [Public Radio Tulsa

Federal Government News

EXPLAINER: Why Court’s EPA-climate change ruling matters:  The Supreme Court’s climate change ruling on Thursday is likely to hinder President Joe Biden’s plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by the end of the decade and to make the U.S. a global leader again in the fight to slow global warming. [KFOR] By a 6-3 vote, with conservatives in the majority, the court said that the Clean Air Act does not give the Environmental Protection Agency broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that contribute to global warming. [The Journal Record

  • Oklahoma’s energy secretary supports Supreme Court ruling limiting EPA power [The Oklahoman

Tribal Nations News

Cherokee Nation makes history with federal transportation compact: President Joe Biden’s administration has taken another step to improve relations between the United States and tribal nations by signing an agreement giving the Cherokee Nation greater control over road improvements within its reservation. [NonDoc

Voting and Election News

In Legislature, 3 incumbents out, 10 races go to runoffs: Incumbents in the Oklahoma Legislature overwhelmingly held onto their seats in Tuesday’s primary elections. Only two representatives and one senator lost their reelection campaigns, but several open races in the House and the Senate still ensure fresh faces for the 59th Legislature. [NonDoc

Health News

Oklahoma resident dies after contracting West Nile virus: An Oklahoman has died after contracting the West Nile virus. It is the state’s first West Nile-related death in 2022. The Oklahoma State Department of Health said the person was a central Oklahoma resident and had been hospitalized before dying. [The Oklahoman

Criminal Justice News

Former Oklahoma County jail inmates say guards set up stabbings. Here’s what we know: Just prior to voters approving bond money for a new detention facility, two separate court filings against the Oklahoma County jail alleged detention officers allowed inmates to be stabbed in their cells. [The Oklahoman

Dept. Of Corrections Report Finds Declining Inmate Population, Money Reinvested Into Agency: Lawmakers questioned the head of the department of corrections after a new LOFT report raised questions about budgets and staffing in Oklahoma’s jails. The statewide inmate population declined 17% between January 2016 and May 2022. [News 9

Education News

Discovery of Tulsa Public Schools contract irregularity announced: Officials with Tulsa Public Schools say they’re cooperating with local law enforcement after finding nearly $20,000 in contract management irregularities within a department. Based on what was found during the review process, Superintendent Deborah Gist said Thursday the irregularities were tied to one vendor contract on the operations side of the Talent Management Department. [Tulsa World

General News

Abortion-rights protesters march in downtown Tulsa: A pro-choice march and rally, organized on Instagram by a 17-year-old girl, drew a flood of hundreds of Tulsans to downtown Tulsa on Thursday to demand change and access to reproductive health care after the fall of Roe v. Wade. [Tulsa World

Oklahoma Local News

  • U.S citizenship granted to 77 children on ‘happiest day in Tulsa’ [Tulsa World]
  • Incorporation would give Hochatown a voice in water and fire policies [The Oklahoman

Quote of the Day

“Medicaid expansion did exactly what voters knew it would when they passed the ballot initiative. We’ve seen immense coverage gains across the state, and then subsequent economic benefits throughout our local communities.”

-Emma Morris, Health Care and Revenue Policy Analyst, OK Policy [KTUL]

Number of the Day


Number of Oklahomans who have been approved for health care benefits via Medicaid expansion since June 1, 2021 [Oklahoma Health Care Authority]

Policy Note

Unwinding the Public Health Emergency: What We Can Learn From Pre-Pandemic Enrollment Patterns: As the public health emergency expires and states are able to resume more routine renewals and disenrollments, our analysis shows that a large share of non-elderly adults and children could be at risk of losing coverage, even if many continue to be eligible. Efforts to conduct outreach, education and provide enrollment assistance can help ensure that those who remain eligible are able to retain coverage and those who are no longer eligible can transition to other sources of coverage. [KFF]

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Kristin Wells served as the Communications and Operations Fellow for OK Policy from October 2021 to July 2022. She previously worked as a digital content producer for News On 6. A native Kansas Citian, Kristin graduated with a B.A. in Media Studies and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Tulsa in 2020. While there, she was accepted into the Global Scholars program, spurring her interests in policy, social movements, global identities, and the importance of education and advocacy. She hopes to use her skills to continue to learn and create a more equitable future for Oklahomans. An avid sports fan, Kristin lives in Tulsa with her rescue dog and is passionate about college basketball, documentaries, and coffee.

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