In The Know: State ranks high for Affordable Care Act sign-ups in special enrollment period

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

State ranks high for Affordable Care Act sign-ups in special enrollment period: Nearly 11,500 Oklahomans who lost health insurance or were denied Medicaid benefits in the last year signed up for health insurance plans through a federal exchange, according to data released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A higher percentage of Oklahomans with special circumstances bought plans on the federally run insurance exchange than the national average, according to CMS. Those who have lost a job, weren’t eligible for Medicaid, got married or had a baby or other special life circumstances can buy insurance before the open enrollment period begins in November [Journal Record].

Evaluating a carbon tax for Oklahoma: While economists have long endorsed a carbon tax as an economically efficient way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the idea hasn’t receive much political support. However, a growing number of voices from across the political spectrum have begun to endorse the idea of putting a price on carbon. As pressure increases in states and nationally to come up with a better policy response to climate change, does a carbon tax make sense for a politically conservative, oil-and-gas dependent state like Oklahoma? [OK Policy]

Oklahoma teacher unions file lawsuit to overturn new Oklahoma law: A lawsuit filed Tuesday in Oklahoma County District Court seeks to overturn a new law that prohibits teachers from allowing union dues to be automatically deducted from their paychecks. The Oklahoma Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers Oklahoma filed the lawsuit, along with one member from each organization [NewsOK]. In debate on the House floor, opponents of the bill said it was really intended to punish the Oklahoma Education Association for opposing school choice [OK Policy].

State senator proposes tapping tobacco endowment for teacher pay hikes: Sen. Bryce Marlatt, R-Woodward, said he will seek to create a ballot measure to use funds from Oklahoma’s Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, which has a balance of nearly $1 billion, to fund a teacher pay raise. He said smoking rates have reached an all-time low in Oklahoma, so the funds could be used without hurting the trust’s mission [NewsOK].

Judge reinstates gender bias lawsuit against University of Oklahoma regent: Cleveland County District Judge Lori Walkley ruled in favor of Debra Traficante who is suing University of Oklahoma Regent A. Max Weitzenhoffer Jr., claiming he did not want a female marching band director and used his influence to keep her from being promoted to that position. Attorney Stan Ward, representing Traficante, said Weitzenhoffer interfered in the hiring process for a new band director “not once, but twice” and acted outside his scope as a regent [NewsOK].

Oklahoma’s medical marijuana law is strictest in the nation for limiting THC content: Since 2014, 17 states have legalized the use of marijuana-derived cannabidiol (CBD) for children: Utah, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. The laws are intended mostly to treat intractable epilepsy and, in some cases, other conditions. The 17 states that recently passed CBD legislation all placed limits on the THC concentration of medical marijuana extracts to minimize the psychoactive effects of the medication. They range from 0.3 percent in Oklahoma to 5 percent in Georgia [Washington Post].

Quote of the Day

“All of us work together to provide affordable housing for the very low-income, and all of us are full. And all of us have these incredible wait lists. Our Section 8 wait lists are years long.”

-Mark Gillett, executive director of the Oklahoma City Housing Authority, which has a wait list of about 5,000 families. The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency, which provides subsidized housing outside the Tulsa and OKC metro areas, has a waiting list of 10,290 families (Source).

Number of the Day


Ranking of Atoka County out of 3,111 counties nationwide for natural amenities making it a nice place to live, the best ranking of any county in Oklahoma.

Source: USDA Economic Research Service via The Washington Post

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Lack of access to transportation keeps many people from getting health care: Past research on health care access has examined the ways in which distance can present a problem for people in rural areas, but poorer people in suburban and urban settings, even though they may live closer to a doctor or hospital, can still have trouble with transportation. Some households don’t have a vehicle, or share one among multiple family members. Low-income neighborhoods are hit particularly hard by shoddy transportation infrastructure. As a result, some people may find themselves without a way home after an emergency trip to the hospital, or miss a doctor’s appointment simply because they don’t have a way to get there [The Atlantic].

You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.


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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.