The Norman Transcript

Columns

November 27, 2012

Fallin should implement federal law

NORMAN — I thought my friend was making a bad blonde joke when he told me that Gov. Mary Fallin had decided to return $54 million federal dollars the state had already accepted to create an insurance exchange to extend Medicaid supported insurance to un-insured Oklahomans.

The money was part of the Affordable Care Act. Later, Fallin explained that she believed that President Barack Obama would be defeated and the Affordable Care Act would be repealed in January 2013.

Obama was re-elected this November. The next day, the federal government moved forward to implement the Affordable Care Act. As part of the process, each state had a deadline to determine whether they would implement an insurance exchange using federal dollars. The original deadline was deferred to Nov. 21.

A few days before the deadline, Fallin announced that Oklahoma would not implement the insurance exchange (thereby refusing the federal implementation dollars). According to the press release, Fallin stated that the state share in the outlying years would require budget cuts to critical state programs, specifically education and transportation.

What Fallin did not say was that the federal dollars she refused would have paid to implement the exchange and then fully supported the expenses for up to five years and partially supported expenses for the remainder of a decade.

She didn’t say that Oklahoma has one of the highest per capita rates of medically uninsured citizens in the nation. Nor did Fallin say that Oklahoma already ranks among the lowest five states in expenditures per pupil in our schools. Neither did she acknowledge that Oklahoma owns an extraordinary number of miles of substandard roads and unsafe bridges.

Fortunately, newspapers across Oklahoma, including The Norman Transcript, checked the facts and published what the governor did not say. In addition to completing the picture, they found that the cost projections cited by Fallin were grossly inflated.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Congress must accelerate solutions

    Congress has roused itself, at the last minute, and now is scrambling to save the Highway Trust Fund. Better late than never. Better still will be if lawmakers agree to come up with the money to prevent the fund from becoming insolvent. ...

    July 20, 2014

  • The heavy burden of college aid

    Return on investment is a clear measure of what you get for your money. Incredibly, the federal government doesn’t apply that simple concept to the $137 billion a year it spends on college financial aid....

    July 19, 2014

  • James bears weight of Cav’s dreams

    LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician....

    July 17, 2014

  • Steve Boaz.jpg Breathing Rhythm Studio a center for creativity

    Recording engineer Steve Boaz has brought his musical ambitions to fulfillment in a downtown Norman studio.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Matt Lauer is so last century

    How about we rename “The Today Show” the “Yesterday Show” since host Matt Lauer asks questions from 1953? Isn’t what Lauer asked GM CEO Mary Barra about whether she’ll do “well” at being simultaneously an executive and a mom about, oh, 30 ...

    July 14, 2014

  • Religion’s role shrinking

    Surveying the response to last month’s Hobby Lobby decision, I was struck by a comment from progressive Massachusetts senator and possible Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren....

    July 12, 2014