A rare bright spot in health care-related news came early last week with the announcement that Insure Oklahoma, a public-private partnership providing health insurance for some 18,500 low-income Oklahomans and their families, has been given permission by the federal government to continue operating for another year.
“These are lifesaving services that hospitals and EMS providers provide to people without respect to their ability to pay or their insurance status. It’s a critical system for us to support.”
-Julie Cox-Kain, a deputy commissioner with the Oklahoma Health Department, speaking about the Legislature’s move to take $5 million from the state trauma care assistance revolving fund to balance this year’s budget (Source: http://bit.ly/1qj6SUP)
Christy Finsel is an enrolled tribal member of the Osage Nation and the Coordinator of the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition. She has been engaged in asset building research and program design and implementation since 2003.
“It is not just about being fiscally responsible, but also about redeeming lives through faith-based programs, keeping families together and turning more ex-offenders into productive, taxpaying citizens. Moreover, for nonviolent offenders, watching television and receiving ‘three hots and a cot’ in prison does far less to advance personal responsibility than paying restitution to the victim, performing community service, holding a job and paying child support.”
“The sad truth is that the state budget has become dependent on using one-time funds in good times and bad. Oklahoma’s economy has been expanding for more than three years, yet legislators tapped nearly $1 billion in nonrecurring revenues over that period — some appropriately so, but most not — to spend more than the amount certified.”
- Oklahoma state treasurer Ken Miller, speaking out against the overuse of one-time funds and cuts to recurring revenues in the state budget (Source: http://bit.ly/1jXUlT1)