In The Know: Oklahoma cuts health care for aged, blind, and disabled

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. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today In The News

Oklahoma cuts health care for aged, blind, and disabled: The Oklahoma Health Care Authority board went ahead and approved the 3.5 percent rate cut for developmental disabilities service providers. The action will reduce spending on the programs by $11 million. including about $7 million in federal funds and $4 million in state funds. The Health Care Authority also approved a $5 million cut for health care providers who serve aged, blind and disabled Oklahomans [Oklahoma Watch].

Oklahoma voter turnout hits all-time lows: Every two years, the U.S. Census Bureau issues a report on voter participation in the most recent elections based on a national survey conducted the previous November. The news from this year’s report ain’t pretty. Fewer Americans voted in the 2104 midterm elections than in any election in at least 45 years. In Oklahoma, barely one out of three adults (34.2 percent) went to the polls [OK Policy].

No home for Oklahomans with felony records: Locating affordable housing is one of the toughest barriers for Oklahomans with a past felony conviction. Homelessness surveys and anecdotal reports from re-entry programs indicate that inadequate access to housing is a substantial hardship for ex-prisoners [David Blatt / Journal Record]. Oklahoma’s major public housing assistance programs frequently exclude people with felony records, and even those who have been arrested without being charged, from getting help [OK Policy].

Norman proposes tax to fund community improvements: City leaders in Norman hope that improving parks, libraries and sports facilities will help bring in new businesses. On Tuesday, the City Council approved an ordinance to put a one-half-cent sales tax on an Oct. 13 ballot. If passed, the tax increase would last for 15 years. Revenue would fund $209 million in bonds for projects that also include amenities for senior residents [Norman Transcript].

Oklahoma beekeepers, farmers discuss balancing hive health and crop protection: Oklahoma lost a greater percentage of its honeybee colonies than any other state over the last year. On Tuesday, beekeepers, scientists, and farmers gathered at Langston University’s Oklahoma City campus to give their input on a plan to better protect pollinators of all kinds [KGOU].

Same-sex marriage rights may not extend to Indian country: Recent decisions involving same-sex marriage now make it a fundamental right under the 14th Amendment. But those wishing to be married on tribal land may not be afforded the right. Indian Country is deeply divided over the same-sex marriage issue [NewsOK]. 

Quote of the Day

“It’s just brutal right now trying to get people certified. They may have a degree in underwater basket-weaving, and I’m trying to get them a certificate in elementary education.”

-Newcastle Public Schools Superintendent Tony O’Brien, speaking about how Oklahoma schools are allowing increasing numbers of teachers to instruct outside their areas of expertise due to a lack of applicants for many positions (

Number of the Day


Approximate number of Oklahomans aged 75 and older who voted in 2014 elections, outnumbering all voters aged 64 and less by about 46,000.

Source: U.S. Census

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Top ten facts about Social Security: Eighty years after President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935, Social Security remains one of the nation’s most successful, effective, and popular programs. It provides a foundation of income on which workers can build to plan for their retirement. It also provides valuable social insurance protection to workers who become disabled and to families whose breadwinner dies [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities].

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Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism.

One thought on “In The Know: Oklahoma cuts health care for aged, blind, and disabled

  1. Although it remains one of the most successful programs it too is slowly failing. Mainly for two reasons:

    1.) The Government could not resist putting their hands in it and removing monies from it on more than one occasion. Which should have been classified as a federal crime. Due to the fact that the American Workforce were required to put that money in there from each paycheck so it would be there for them when they retired. What a scam.

    2.) The second reason is because when it was set up someone forgot to set limitations on what would be fair to pull from it. Social security should only pay back to an individual what the individual put into it in the first place. There should not have been cost of living increases added to the payouts. I know that sounds harsh but if someone paid in for twenty years at a certain percentage of their check, but are pulling out of it at a higher percentage for another twenty years , eventually the amount going in will be smaller than the amount going out, and it’s not hard to figure out where that will lead. Complete Program Failure!

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