OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

May 7, 2013

Oklahoma policymakers fed up with federal spending ‘finally have a chance to do something about it’

Filed under: Exposing Health Care Reform, Lobbying — Tags: , , , — oksafeinc @ 12:53 pm

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Some OK GOP legislators (Sen. Brian Crain/Rep. Doug Cox) are considering giving the OHCA (Oklahoma Health Care Authority) governing authority over an expanded Medicaid scheme, using the Insure Oklahoma framework, via proposed amendments to SB 640 by Crain/Cox.

The following post by Brandon Dutcher of Oklahoma’s OCPA provides great commentary on why state policy makers should jump at any chance to not expand Medicaid.

Oklahoma policymakers fed up with federal spending ‘finally have a chance to do something about it’

 

“As the battle over Medicaid expansion rages in the states,” Christina Corieri writes today in The Wall Street Journal, “supporters of expansion have dusted off an age-old favorite in making the case for taking federal dollars. They say: If our state doesn’t take the money, those dollars will go to some other state instead.

Happily, in this instance that is not true. When a state declines to expand Medicaid coverage to more people, no other state will receive its share of funds and federal spending declines. Based on figures from the Congressional Budget Office and analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Washington was expected to spend roughly $950 billion expanding Medicaid between 2014 and 2022. Each state that declines to expand Medicaid relieves strain on the overall federal budget for this entitlement.

State governments generally don’t have much of an impact on the federal budget. But there was a gift for fiscally conservative state lawmakers tucked into last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act. In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the court ruled that Congress cannot coerce states into expanding Medicaid by threatening to withhold federal dollars for a state’s existing program. This ruling effectively gave state policy makers the unique opportunity to veto hundreds of billions of dollars in new federal spending.

Rest of OCPA post here.

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In the meantime, calls are needed to the OK Legislature to vote NO on SB 640.

House Switchboard: 1-800-522-8502, 405-521-2711.  Click here to view list of Representatives.

Senate Switchboard: 1-800-865-6490, 405-524-0126.  Click here to view list of Senators.

 

 

 

 

 

November 23, 2011

ROPE Blog – Reject the Race to the Top Money

Many of OK-SAFE’s founders have long held that today’s public education system is really about behavior modification and not about instilling knowledge or producing well-educated individuals.  Many of us have advocated for the removal of our children, particularly those who are Christian, from the public education propaganda machinery, and have instead advocated for homeschooling or, where possible, enrollment in a classical-education Christian school.

We’re fortunate in this state to have an organization that is doing real research about today’s public school system, and advocating for traditional education values.  ROPE is that organization. (Hat tip to Brandon Dutcher of OCPA, who understands  skyrocketing education costs.)

From our friends at ROPE (Restore Oklahoma Public Education), here is their latest blog:

Today’s Great Idea: Let’s Borrow Money from A Bankrupt Federal Government to Create and Administer Tests for Pre-Kindergartners

Our State Department of Education (OSDE) through Governor Mary Fallin sold the public on applying for the Race to The Top Early Learning Challenge (to pay for pre-k programming) by saying they would be applying for this grant to “…invest in upgrades to our teacher training, our data tracking and improved testing.” She also goes on to tell Megan Rolland, “We’re not establishing new programs …”

WHO ADVISES THIS WOMAN? Clearly, from Rolland’s new article today, “Entry exam for kindergartners is part of Oklahoma’s grant application” they had every intent of establishing a new program – that of TESTING INCOMING KINDERGARTNERS. In fact, after reviewing the RTT grant’s FAQ’s, it became readily apparent that this NEW program was added so Oklahoma could be more competitive for the grant:

Competitive Preference Priority 3, is Understanding the Status of Children’s Early Learning and Development at Kindergarten Entry through the implementation of a Kindergarten Entry Assessment. Applicants that successfully meet Competitive Preference Priority 2 can receive up to 10 additional points, and applicants that successfully meet Competitive Preference Priority 3 can earn 10 additional points on an “all or nothing” basis.

Rest of post here.

Question: Weren’t things in Oklahoma supposed to get better with the election of all those “conservative” Republicans?  We’re fighting all the same bad big-government policies as before, and then some.

Truth is, there is little to no difference between the leadership of either party.  Much better to address policy than party – you’ll be closer to dealing with reality.

March 18, 2011

Update: Republican-led OK House passes HB 2130, an “ObamaCare” Enabler

Hypocrisy is defined as “the state of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually have, or applying a criticism to others that one does not apply to oneself. Hypocrisy involves the deception of others and is thus a kind of lie.”

Most, if not all, of the current crop of OK Republicans campaigned in 2010 against what the public often calls “ObamaCare” (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA).  Oklahomans opposed this bill in its entirety, not just the individual mandate. That opposition included the development of state-run exchanges.

Today, however, the OK House passed, albeit narrowly, a controversial piece of enabling legislation authored by Speaker Kris Steele; HB 2130, paving the way for the further implementation of “ObamaCare” in Oklahoma via health care exchanges.

The Republican arguments in support of this idea included citing the Heritage Foundation,  OCPA, and Sen. Tom Coburn as supportive of the creation of these health care exchanges.*

Rep. Glen Mulready, presenting the bill for Steele, claimed at one point that the idea of health insurance exchanges was “highjacked” by ObamaCare.  (The flaw in this logic is that if the exchanges are so “conservative” how did they end up being the cornerstone of the entire PPACA socialized medicine Act, being mentioned 278 times and funded through federal grant money?) Something doesn’t compute, Rep. Mulready.

HB 2130, defining the governance of the HUB responsible for planning and implementing the Health Insurance Exchange in Oklahoma, included an amendment created at a “facilitated” meeting of a Health Information Exchange Stakeholder group held at Shepherd Mall the day before the vote.

The state recently accepted $54 million to develop the IT support system necessary to “reinvent” the health care delivery system, which includes the health insurance exchange.  (The HIE enables the transfer of electronic medical/health records – called EMRs/EHRs – between health care providers.)

The Grim Future

The future of medical care is this: The Health Insurance Exchange will eventually be connected to the “other” exchange – the Health Information Exchange (HIE). [The HIE enables the transfer of electronic medical records – called EMRs – between health care providers.]

We will live with both Managed Care and Managed Competition in an e-health system where invisible “Navigators” help consumers (not customers, consumers) make “appropriate” health care choices online; where actually visiting a real doctor is limited to “qualified” consumers; where everyone has a health ID card tied to their bank; where people are indirectly forced to participate in state-run exchanges in order to qualify for the tax credits necessary to offset their new $24,000/person annual health insurance premiums; and where no single insurance carrier will be burdened with too many sick people.

(“Navigators” are part of the PPACA law, too.)

Oh, and medical advise and/or treatment will be offered online, issued by a software program that has determined your treatment based on analyzing your accumulated electronic health “data”.

A grim future indeed.

The 51 Yes Votes (italics=Democrat, bold=Tulsa county):

Armes, Banz, Billy, Cannaday, Casey, Cockroft, Coody, Cooksey, Denney, DeWitt, Farley, Grau, Hall, Hardin, Hickman, Jackson, Johnson, Jordan, Joyner, Liebmann, Martin (Sc.), Martin (St.), McAffrey, McCullough, McDaniel (J.), McNiel, Mulready, Nelson, Newell, Nollan, Ortega, Ownbey, Peters, Peterson, Pruett, Quinn, Richardson, Roberts (D.), Russ, Sanders, Scott, Sears, Shannon, Stiles, Sullivan, Thomsen, Tibbs, Virgin, Watson, Wright, and Mr. Speaker (Steele).

The 34 No Votes (italics=Democrat, bold=Tulsa County):

Bennett, Blackwell, Brumbaugh, Christian, Condit, Derby, Dorman, Faught, Fourkiller, Glenn, Hamilton, Hilliard, Holland, Hoskin, Inman, Kern, Key, Kirby, Kouplen, Lockhart, McDaniel (R.), Moore, Morrissette, Murphey, Proctor, Reynolds, Ritze, Rousselot, Schwartz, Sherrer, Terrill, Vaughan, Wesselhoft, Williams.

The Excused Votes (italics=Democrat; bold=Tulsa County):

Brown
, Cox, Dank, Enns, McPeak, Morgan, Osborn, Pittman, Renegar, Roan, Roberts (S.), Shelton, Shoemake, Shumate, Trebilcock, Walker. (That’s a lot of people off the floor for a vote.)

The 51 who voted for this bad bill need to hear from every Oklahoman; the 34 who voted No need to be thanked.

Call OK House Members:1-800-522-8502, 405-521-2711
Email OK House Members: Current List here.

HB 2130 now moves to the Senate where the ‘spin’ on this bill will continue.

*This fallacy, called an Appeal to Authority, is used as an intimidation tactic to quell opposition. “Appeals to Authority (One, Many, or Elite) – A fallacious Appeal to Authority attempts to persuade by leveraging expertise, tradition, boasted credentials, fame, social status, celebrity, etc., when these characteristics do not necessarily pertain to the issue at hand. Even when cited authorities have legitimate expertise in the topic, their expertise itself does not guarantee the truth of the argument under discussion…” and “The fallacy assumes a link between authority and truth that does not of necessity exist.”     Source: Biblical Logic, by Joel McDurmon.

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