Weekly Wonk September 29, 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 discussed the need to recruit, train, and retain primary care providers in Oklahoma. We’ve written before about the shortage of primary care providers in the state. A guest post on the OK Policy blog advocates the importance of combating urban sprawl and discusses ways that might be done. We linked to a video from The Urban Institute debunking the myth that large portions of the country don’t pay taxes. OK Policy is hiring to fill two positions.

Policy Director David Blatt argued that more resources and commitment are needed to make Oklahoma’s child welfare system reform into reality. Blatt was quoted in an Urban Tulsa Weekly article about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Oklahoma and the coverage crater caused by the state’s refusal to accept Medicaid expansion. We’ve written about the coverage crater before. Blatt was also quoted in an article in The Oklahoman reporting on state residents’ experiences with healthcare. OK Policy analyst Gene Perry discussed education funding cuts on OETA. 

Numbers of the Day

  • 81.7 – The number of primary care physicians per 100,000 people in Oklahoma
  • 59.2 percent – Percentage of neighborhoods in Oklahoma where the share of unbanked households is greater than the national average, 2009
  • 95,634 – The number of Oklahomans receiving benefits from state and local government pension plans in 2009; the average benefit was $17,998 per year
  • 53 – The average number of health plans Oklahomans will be able to choose from on the new Affordable Care Act marketplace
  • 48th – Oklahoma’s rank nationally for the percentage of private sector management positions held by women, 37.2 percent in 2010

Policy Notes

  • New census data confirms that SNAP benefits, or food stamps, are essential in helping to keep eligible Americans above the poverty line.
  • Salon discusses how and why enrollment in health insurance should be a necessity for all, including for the young and healthy.
  • A new publication from the Center for American Progress gives Oklahoma a “F” grade for progress made and challenges still facing women in the state. You can read the full report here.
  • Bloomberg argues that many of Senator Ted Cruz’s claims regarding the Affordable Care Act’s damage to American businesses made during his 21-hour stemwinder were not based on factual data. 
  • Oklahoma Watch has video excerpts of its recent community panel on the Affordable Care Act in Oklahoma.


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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