Monday, September 23, 2013

Welcome to Lack of Heathcare for 150,122 People in Red State Oklahoma Thanks to Republican Governor Fallin

Oklahoma ranks fifth nationally in the number of uninsured, ahead of a few area states including Texas, where about one in four residents lack health coverage.  (Tulsa World)

Why are Oklahomans voting for Republicans after this debacle to go with the education of being #1 for defunding education?

All because Republican elected officials don't like Obamacare over 150,000 people are now going to be without healthcare which will stretch the resources of our emergency rooms.  When emergency rooms are used because people don't have healthcare it costs the rest of us.  How can Republicans in this state starting with the Governor who was backed into a corner by the Legislature and big donors even look themselves in the mirror?  It was still Governor Fallin's call to turn down Federal Exchanges that would have increased the number insured.  Has Fallin put her re-election without a challenge from the hard right in the primary over the uninsured of Oklahoma?

If Affordable Care Act being denied a lot of Oklahomans for political reasons was not enough, our delegation voted all together to cut the SNAP food stamp budget so the poor are getting a double whammy from Oklahoma Republican elected officials.

Head of the Agriculture Committee, Republican Frank Lucas from western Oklahoma helped write the bill that keeps subsidies to the big corporate formers and the second bill that cuts $39B from food stamps over ten years.  An Oklahoma Republican is making sure the wealthy donors stay happy while voting to make kids hungry.  He was joined by the other four members of the Oklahoma delegation on both votes.  To put is in plain language, the OK delegation voted for their wealthy donors and against poor children.  The word 'scumbag' comes to mind along with 'despicable' on the food stamps and now on the weekend I read this from the Tulsa World which made me see red.  Somewhere along the line I either woke up what is important in this Country or the Republican Party has gone so far right that I cannot recognize it.  Lack of empathy for those less fortunate is front and center not only in my State but nationally today.   Sad state of affairs in this Country when one political party turns against those less fortunate.

Add all of this to the fact that our Oklahoma GOP delegation voted to defund Affordable Care Act which was attached it to a continuing resolution to keep the Government open after 1 October even though they knew it would never pass the Senate.  Forty-two times the GOP House has voted to defund Obamacare and anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows it is DOA in the Senate and White House which means instead of passing reasonable legislation like a budget or jobs bills they are wasting our tax dollars on something they know will never pass.  Despicable!
Thousands of Oklahomans will remain uninsured after Affordable Care Act takes effect 
By ZIVA BRANSTETTER World Enterprise Editor on Sep 22, 2013, at 2:34 AM  Updated on 9/22/13 at 3:33 AM 
More than 150,000 people will likely remain uninsured in Oklahoma after the new health-care law takes effect because they fall into a gap between the program and two existing state programs, records show.  
These 150,122 people fall into a gap created by Gov. Mary Fallin's decision to reject a Medicaid expansion under the law and by rules for existing programs. The figure comes from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority's latest data that tracks insurance status by income level.  
John Silva, CEO of Morton Comprehensive Health Services Inc., said he believes the Affordable Care Act will improve the health of the state, which ranks high nationally in the number of uninsured. Morton is a federally qualified health center that provides medical care and a wide variety of related services.  
"It will have a positive impact, but then it begs the question - what about the other people who don't have access?" he said.  
Silva said he believes after years of political fights and controversy over the law, once it takes effect, people will embrace it. Silva served on a federal task force put together by Hillary Clinton in 1993 that studied the issue of universal health care.  
"A year or so from now if we could, we should just focus on how we could get these people access," Silva said.  
The state has more than 630,000 uninsured residents, about 17 percent of the population, records show. More than 95,000 of the uninsured are children.  
Oklahoma ranks fifth nationally in the number of uninsured, ahead of a few area states including Texas, where about one in four residents lack health coverage.  
While many of the state's uninsured will be able to afford insurance for the first time when enrollment begins Oct. 1, a quirk in the law means the poorest among them will likely go without.  
Adults who make less than the federal poverty level - $11,490 for an individual and $23,550 for a family of four - will not qualify for subsidized insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Oklahoma was among states that rejected expanded federal Medicaid funding that would have covered people making up to about $16,000 annually.
People who fall into the gap could still enroll in the state's insurance exchange under the new law and pay full price for a plan. However, those who fall below poverty are unlikely to afford even the most basic health plan without the premium subsidies that accompany the law.  
About 5,000 of those 150,000 adults could qualify for Insure Oklahoma - a state program that provides affordable health insurance to low-income people - because the number of people covered is capped.  
Federal officials agreed to Fallin's request to extend the program for one year, but the state has no plans to increase the maximum number of people covered. About 30,000 people are covered by Insure Oklahoma, and enrollment is capped at 35,000.  
It's unlikely those who fall into the health-coverage gap meet requirements for SoonerCare, the state's Medicaid program. The program provides health coverage for low-income children, pregnant women, adults with children, the blind and disabled, and people over 64.

Adults between 19 and 64 without children do not qualify for SoonerCare unless they are blind or disabled. Individuals with children can earn no more than about $300 a month to receive the coverage.  
Excerpt:  Read More at the Tulsa World which is sickening and shows what happens when you elect officials who are beholding to large donors.
This part sent me through the roof as the Federal officials have bent over backwards to allow Oklahoma to keep Insure Oklahoma for another year at Fallin's request which sounds great but the devil is in the details. Oklahoma Republicans are not going to raise the ceiling on how many can be insured in Insure Oklahoma which is now capped at 35,000.

For months since the Moore tornado we have heard state officials including Governor Fallin brag about the Oklahoma standard.  May I be so bold to point out that the Oklahoma standard for taking care of the poor and uninsured leaves a lot to be desired.  State officials should be ashamed but it doesn't bother them that children might go hungry or be uninsured.  It is almost like our Republican elected officials put on a show for a disaster but when it comes to every day living of people less fortunate, they are MIA.

Senator Coburn is right on this one:
Sen. Coburn says Republicans pushing to defund Obamacare are not based in the real world 
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said his Republican colleagues who are pushing to defund Obamacare -- even if it means risking a government shutdown -- aren't facing the "political reality" that they're going to lose. "Tactics and strategies ought to be based on what the real world is, and we do not have the political power to do this," Coburn said during an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation." "We're not about to shut the government down over the fact that we cannot, only controlling one house of Congress, tell the president that we’re not going to fund any portion of this. Because we can’t do that.” 
Read more from the Huffington Post.
Dr. Coburn understands the facts on the budget and the threat of shutting down government from the hard right GOP House and some GOP Senators in order to defund Obamacare would be suicide for the GOP.  Will the GOP listen to reality or will the House GOP and some GOP hard right in the Senate insist in shutting Government down.  Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) thinks we should shut down the military if Obamacare is not defunded.  Is he even American since his father came from Cuba and he was born in Canada?

Where did Republicans find people like Ted Cruz to run?  There are way too many hard right in Congress who don't care if Government shuts down as they will wear it as a badge.  This is just flat out stupid to risk our Government on something they don't like as Cong Cole puts it because it is called 'Obamacare' which you immediately jump to the conclusion the GOP hates Obamacare because President Obama was involved with the idea.  Childish comes to mind for a lot of the GOP in Congress.
On the same day that the House voted for a 42nd time to repeal Obamcaare, comments emerged from one GOP rep about the difficulty his party faces in repealing President Barack Obama's signature law. 
In an interview with the New York Times published Friday, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) leveled about how realistic a chance there is for Republicans to erase the Affordable Care Act. 
“It’s awfully hard to repeal Obamacare when a guy named Obama is president of the United States,” Cole said. 
Cole was among the 230 members of Congress who voted on Friday to pass a continuing resolution that funds the government through Dec. 15, while defunding Obamacare in the process. But in an interview with the Norman (Okla.) Transcript, Cole explained that he saw Friday's vote as just the first of many steps in reaching an agreement. 
“We expect this will get kicked back to the House, but maybe we can come up with something that delays this for another year,” Cole said. “I’m not naive. I don’t think this will be easy or quick." 
Among the steps that Cole does not support is shutting down the government. Back in July, he publicly voiced his reservations, telling MSNBC that it was a "suicidal political tactic." In his interview with the Transcript, Cole stood true to that belief, calling the House CR "the opening volley in a long tennis match.” 
Read more from the Huffington Post
Republicans don't get it except for Senators like McCain and Coburn that this President has had it with the GOP games in Congress and he is not playing their games anymore.  He wants a clean Continuing Resolution from a group of malcontents in the House who refuse to even send any representative to the Conference Committee on the budget to iron out differences for the Senate.  You cannot deal with the House GOP at all as the Koch Bros Tea Party is running the House who are nothing but obstructionists.

Any shutdown lies directly at the feet of the House Republican leadership which includes Cole and the biggest bunch of 'my way or no way' group in Congress I have ever seen.  President Obama should have told them on the first debt ceiling to make it a clean vote but he made the mistake of compromising with untrustworthy people thinking he was doing the right thing.  Now the GOP insists on more compromises each time.  He has said no more compromises but that has not stopped the House GOP from pushing for more. Don't you think that voting 42 times to defund Obamacare only to have it die for lack of votes in the Senate has gone way too far?

Suggest we defund the GOP House until they get their act together and do the job they were sent to DC to do instead of pandering to a small minority.  They are supposed to represent everyone not just their supporters.

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