Weekly Wonk October 13, 2013

the_weekly_wonkThe Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage.  Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know.  Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

OK Policy has released our 2012 profile of poverty in Oklahoma, along with a brief writeup. We’re written about the 2012 poverty data before, and our previous poverty profiles (2007-2011) are archived here. Writing in the OK Policy blog, we argue that the state’s pension crisis is over. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) presents a lecture on domestic violence in Oklahoma on October 29th. We invite you to join us at Tulsa’s Circle Cinema on Tuesday October 15th at 6:30 pm for a screening of the documentary”Inequality for All,” followed by a discussion facilitated by OK Policy analyst Gene Perry. The film will be showing through Thursday; admission for all screenings is free for students with student ID. 

In the Tulsa World, Policy Director David Blatt and former Tulsa mayor Robert J. LaFortune argue in favor of federally-funded Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma; we’ve written extensively about the benefits of expanding Medicaid.  Blatt notes that the personal stories like those explored in our “Neglected Oklahoma” series put human faces to poverty statistics.  Blatt is a featured guest on OETA’s Oklahoma Forum today at 12:30 discussing rising inequality, along with Professor Jonathan Willner and State Chamber President Fred Morgan. 

Numbers of the Day

  • 0 – The number of health plans on the individual market, out of 90 plans, that offer women over 30 maternity coverage (or a maternity rider) in Oklahoma; optional maternity coverage is required of all plans in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act
  • 534,712 – The number of adults (25-64) in Oklahoma without college degrees or with limited English proficiency, more than 1/4th of the state’s working age adults
  • 46.9 percent – The elderly poverty rate in Oklahoma if Social Security benefits were withdrawn; the current poverty rate for Oklahoma’s seniors (with Social Security) is 9.9 percent
  • 20 – The number of pregnant women, for every 100,000, who die from pregnancy-related complications in Oklahoma – 3rd highest maternal mortality rate in the U.S.

Policy Notes

  • The Washington Post examines the portions of the federal government deemed ‘nonessential’ during the shutdown and finds that many are in fact quite essential
  • According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, The latest offer assembled by House Republicans and marketed as a “reasonable, middle-ground compromise” is in fact anything but. 
  • The Alliance for Retired Americans presents success stories about the impact of Social Security, Medicaid, and  Medicare in Oklahoma.
  • ProPublica’s new database allows users map how well states provide poor and wealthier schools with equal access to advanced classes. 


Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

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