The Weekly Wonk – September 23, 2011

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 Census Bureau released new state-level data on income, poverty and health insurance coverage in 2010.  The Tulsa World interviewed our Director David Blatt on the rising poverty rate in Oklahoma.  Yesterday’s OK Policy blog post – Poverty rises in Oklahoma; children especially bearing the brunt –  concludes that despite experiencing a comparatively less severe recession than most other states, the situation for those at the bottom in Oklahoma is more fragile than ever.

On Monday we ran another post in our ongoing series examining the federal health care law; IT incentives and investments under the federal health care overhaul are propelling an industry that still relies primarily on paper records into the 21st century.  Watch a ten-minute documentary on our blog featuring interviews with Medicare families struggling to keep up with health care costs and other necessary household expenses on a fixed budget.

A guest post from attorney Noble McIntyre makes the argument for increased spending on public safety education in Oklahoma.  OK Policy analyst Gene Perry was quoted in a NewsOK article about state subsidies for the coal industry.

In the Know, Policy Notes

Numbers of the Week

  • 42,000 – Number of children in Oklahoma who are eligible for Medicaid (SoonerCare), but are not enrolled, 2011
  • 4,614 – Number of alcohol-related traffic crashes in Oklahoma in 2010; 6.6% of all traffic crashes in the state (69,805) were alcohol‐related.
  • 15.1 percent – Percentage of Americans living in poverty in 2010; a family of four is living in poverty if their annual income is less than $22,113.
  • $1,430 – Amount in payroll tax relief an Oklahoma household with $46,000 in annual income would receive under the proposed American Jobs Act.
  • 85 percent – Percentage of recent bachelor’s degree holders who remain and work in Oklahoma one year after graduation.



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