The 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. Because The Weekly Wonk was on hiatus last weekend, this edition features links and information from the past two weeks.
Using the experiences of California and Kansas as examples, we pointed out how and why the economic case for tax cuts is in shambles. We presented more proof that hiking copayments for Medicaid recipients doesn’t actually create savings. We reviewed how, this session, lawmakers had the opportunity to enact effective legislation to combat prescription drug addiction in the state – and fumbled it. We’ve written about prescription drug addiction in Oklahoma before.
The Washington Post quoted Blatt in their discussion of the recently-announced extension of Insure Oklahoma. We’ve written before about how Insure Oklahoma could be used to extend health coverage to all low-income Oklahomans. Blatt was also quoted in an article by Dissent Magazine examining how states and cities are stepping into the void left by congressional obstruction to address problems of inequality, economic stagnation, and climate change.
In the Oklahoma Gazette, policy analyst Carly Putnam made the case for the importance of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye in Oklahoma. The Red Dirt Report cited OK Policy statistics while describing the devastating impact of “tough on crime” policies.
In our Editorial of the Week, the Tulsa World argued against a law passed this session declaring gold and silver coins legal tender and exempting sales of gold coins from sales taxes. The move is expected to cost the state nearly $1 million in the next budget year.
Quote of the Week
“I made some of the toughest votes today that I’ve ever made in my life. I’m against every one of these rules but I can’t help it.”
- Former Sen. George Miller, a member of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board, speaking about their votes to slash provider rates, increase copayments, and reduce services for Medicaid. With flat state funding and lawmakers refusing to accept federal funds offered under the Affordable Care Act, Oklahoma Medicaid is facing a $225 million shortfall this year (Source: http://bit.ly/1vbZ4Fp).