The Weekly Wonk: August 17, 2012

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk is dedicated to this week’s events, publications, and blog posts.

This week the OK Policy Blog discussed the ‘coverage crater,’ and why most adults living in poverty will be left without health insurance options if the state opts-out of Medicaid expansion.  We also released a 1-page fact sheet with details about the state’s Medicaid program and the Affordable Care Act.

As many state agencies have seen budget cuts, we revealed that a much larger share of the pie has gone to roads and bridges.  We blogged about the good news and bad news in the latest state revenue numbers.

An upcoming conference will address improving healthcare delivery, access, and outcomes for underserved and rural Oklahoma communities.  David Blatt wrote in the Journal Record that we are having the wrong debate about welfare.  OK Policy’s director was also cited in an Enid News & Eagle article on our state’s health insurance exchange and a CapitolBeatOK article about Medicaid expansion.

Policy Notes

Quotes of the Day

  • I think we have to be under the assumption the federal exchange will be ready, and then we will have to thoughtfully and carefully consider what’s best for Oklahoma, and then pull out of it and move into something that is more reflective of our values.  –Insurance Commissioner John Doak, on a requirement under the new federal health law that states begin operating online health insurance exchanges by January 2014
  • We’re out here to spend the taxpayers’ money responsibly.  I really don’t think we’re doing that in a lot of respects. –Rep. David Dank, R-Oklahoma City, on the lack of transparency and accountability in state tax credits and incentives
  • I am more interested in competing with an attractive quality of life offer than hopeless bidding wars for companies who will be out the door the first time another community comes along with a better offer. Most of the really attractive deals will likely wind up in cities that can outspend us no matter what we offer. –Tulsa Metro Area Planning Commission member Bill Leighty, on a proposed $53 million dollar closing fund in Tulsa
  • [The Pardon and Parole Board has] been doing docket modifications since 1989, and this is the first time since 1989 there has been an issue raised about the docket-modification process. It is not like there has been a firestorm going on for years about this, nor is it something we just started last month.  –State Pardon and Parole Board Vice Chairman Marc Dreyer, on an accusation by Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater that the board is illegally recommending early release for offenders who are required to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences
  • It’s all these things that start hitting you and you want to sign up for all these scholarships or financial aid or something but you can’t because you weren’t born here. But it’s all I’ve known.  –Guillermo Romero, an undocumented immigrant who is applying for a two-year deportation deferment under President Obama’s executive order. Romero was brought to the U.S. by his parents when he was 8 years. He attends attends Tulsa Community College and wants to eventually be able to study computer engineering at OSU

Click here for this week’s Numbers of the Day


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