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 at OK Policy, we posted our tenth blog in an ongoing series of posts examining the Affordable Care Act. While the federal government has repeatedly assured the states “flexibility” in instituting the new health law’s requirements, if a state isn’t making a timely and good faith effort to launch a health insurance exchange, their efforts may be preempted by a federally-run exchange.
Also, we blogged about a new study from the Federal Reserve Bank that finds despite a modest recovery in the overall economy, low- and moderate-income Oklahomans continue to face increased hardship. Watch a 5-minute video on our blog about “Living Through the Oklahoma Dust Bowl,” featuring interviews, footage, and photographs of Oklahomans living through severe drought conditions and crop failures in the 1930s.
Guest blogger Monica Barczak writes about Healthy Mothers, Healthy Futures, an innovative Tulsa health program aimed at reducing infant deaths. Finally, OK Policy presented summary data on the scope of the state’s early childhood programming at the 1st annual, “Champions for Children” conference in Oklahoma City, hosted by Smart Start Oklahoma.
In the Know, Policy Notes
- Paul Krugman explains why the Texas economy is not as prosperous as its boosters claim.
- Monica Barczak writes in the OK Policy Blog about Healthy Mothers, Healthy Futures, an innovative Tulsa health program aimed at reducing infant deaths.
- Jared Bernstein shows that nearly half the government jobs added between 2007 and 2010 went to Texas, and Texas depended more on federal stimulus money to plug its budget shortfall than any other state.
- The Annie E. Casey Foundation released it’s 2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book, exploring how kids and families are faring in the wake of the recession.
- USA Today reports on new rules under that federal health care law that will require health insurers to provide clear and concise information about about their policiesto consumers.
- 400 percent – Percentage growth in the number of public school students doing schoolwork through computer-based programs in Oklahoma in the last three years
- $2,713 – Average amount in tuition and fees for a year of community college in the United States, compared to $7,605 for a 4-year public institution, 2010
- 450 – The total number of separate tax expenditures (tax breaks and exemptions) authorized by Oklahoma law, 2010
- 2/3 – Proportion of all law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma that have five or fewer officers, 2010
- 203,830 – Number of Oklahoma employees who work for private businesses that do not offer health insurance, 2009