The Weekly Wonk: Job training in prisons | Police reform | Black Wall Street’s legacy

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk shares our most recent publications and other resources to help you stay informed about Oklahoma. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know. Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

This Week from OK Policy

Upcoming Opportunities

SoonerCare 2.0 federal comment period open through Saturday: The federal agency that oversees Medicaid is now accepting public comments through June 27 about the Governor’s health care proposal that he has been calling SoonerCare 2.0. Comments can be submitted through the website. [CoverOK.orgOK Policy and Together Oklahoma are members of the CoverOK coalition, which advocates to protect and expand Medicaid in the state.

Weekly What’s That

Managed Care

Managed Care is a health care delivery system organized to manage cost, utilization, and quality. Unlike a traditional fee-for-service system, in which a provider is paid directly by an insurer for every service delivered, under managed care, an organization or provider is responsible for providing a specified set of services for each insured member in return for a set monthly payment, known as the capitation rate.

A managed care organization is an entity that receives a capitated payment and coordinates a patient’s care through a defined network of physicians and hospitals.  An HMO, or Health Maintenance Organization, is a variety of managed care organization that typically requires patient to seek care from doctors and other providers who work for or contract with the HMO.  In exchange for being limited in their choice of providers, patients enrolled in an HMO typically have lower out-of-pocket costs than in a fee-for-service plan.

Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, known as SoonerCare, operates a limited form of managed care. Under the SoonerCare Choice program, most children and working-age adults select or are assigned to a Primary Care Provider/Care Manager (PCP/CM), who receives a monthly capitated payment for coordinating the care of each of their patients. Oklahoma ran a fully capitated managed care HMO program in urban areas from 1996 to 2004.

Look up more key terms to understand Oklahoma politics and government here.

Quote of the Week

“We are not here in sorrow. We are here to act — to create meaningful and sustainable progress, and to demonstrate to the world the power of Black folks working together.” 

-Actor, film maker and author Hill Harper, honorary co-chair of the $10 million campaign to restore Tulsa’s Greenwood District

[Source: Tulsa World]

Opinion Column of the Week

In 1921, a white mob burned ‘Black Wall Street’ down. We still feel that legacy today.

Even in the economic sphere, white supremacy in America has a deep and extensive history and legacy. While the color of money may not matter, the color of the moneymaker does. Black economic success, particularly when juxtaposed against white economic struggles, has historically been a catalyst for violence…

Yet the pain of Tulsa’s historical trauma lingers. So do enduring inequalities: disparities in education, healthcare, criminal justice, employment and even lifespan remain a fact of life for black Tulsans. A raft of emotions – anger, pain, fear, shame, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among them – punctuate race relations in Oklahoma and color efforts at reconciliation.

[Hannibal B. Johnson / The Guardian]

Numbers of the Day

  • $1.267 billion – Expected increase in Medicaid, CHIP, and Marketplace Tax Credits in nonexpansion states like Oklahoma during 2020 (assuming no pandemic) if Oklahoma accepted Medicaid expansion
  • 26,000 – The number of children with incarcerated parents in Oklahoma on any given day as of 2018
  • 218,770 – The estimated number of Oklahoma children who were food insecure in 2016
  • -30%  – Projected change in the number of uninsured Oklahomans if the state accepted Medicaid expansion
  • >100,000 – Advance estimate for number of people expected to be in downtown Tulsa on June 18-20 in connection with President Trump’s rally   

See previous Numbers of the Day and sources here.

What We’re Reading


David Hamby has more than 25 years of experience as an award-winning communicator, including overseeing communication programs for Oklahoma higher education institutions and other organizations. Before joining OK Policy, he was director of public relations for Rogers State University where he managed the school’s external communication programs and served as a member of the president’s leadership team. He served in a similar communications role for five years at the University of Tulsa. He also has worked in communications roles at Oklahoma State University and the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce in Arkansas. He joined OK Policy in October 2019.

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