Blog

09 Dec
0

Community Leader and Advocate for Latino Americans Announces for House District 89

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mary Sosa
(405) 371-2389
info@marysosa.com

Community Leader and Advocate for Latino Americans Announces for House District 89

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – A community leader and advocate for Latino Americans announced today that she is running for the Oklahoma House of Representatives in House District 89.

“I am running because I believe our children are our future, that working Oklahomans are the backbone bone of our economy, and that families were meant to be protected, not torn apart,” said Mary Sosa. “It’s time for us to work together and elect leaders that have a plan to protect families in our community.”

Sosa is a retired city employee for the City of Oklahoma City. Mary has lived in the district for 33 years and has raised her children and grandchildren there. She is the former president of the College Hill Neighborhood Association. Sosa serves as a volunteer with countless organizations including the American Red Cross, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the Neighborhood Alliance. Mary is an active member of Capitol Hill Church of Christ in South Oklahoma City.

“In the 33 years I’ve lived in House District 89, I’ve had the opportunity to work with people from every walk of life and see the problems our community faces firsthand. I have raised my children here and am lucky to have grandchildren growing up here too. I have decided to step up to do my part to make sure our community gets the representation it deserves at the State Capitol,” said Sosa.

House District 89 is located in South Oklahoma City. It is currently represented by Representative Rebecca Hamilton who will term out in November of 2014.

Learn more about Mary and her campaign at http://www.marysosa.com.
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04 Dec
0

The ACA Allows More Than 800K Oklahomans to Access Free Preventive Care

 

December 4, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact: Trav Robertson
P: 405.427.3366

THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT ALLOWS MORE THAN 800K OKLAHOMANS TO ACCESS FREE PREVENTIVE CARE

Republican plan would cause consumers to lose access to preventive services with no copay

OKLAHOMA CITY– While Republicans in Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation double down on their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats remain unified behind improving and effectively implementing health care reform. Already, Oklahomans are seeing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

Approximately 105 million Americans – 71 million with private insurance and 34 million on Medicare – have received at least one free preventive health care service thanks to the Affordable Care Act. In Oklahoma, 811,000 people have received free preventive care like flu shots and cancer screenings because of the health care law [1].

Oklahoma has the sixth highest percentage of residents without health insurance with more than 690,000 uninsured Oklahomans in 2010 [2].

Meanwhile, Oklahoma Republicans – including Senators Inhofe, Coburn, the Congressional delegation, and even Governor Fallin – continue to stand in the way of making commonsense health care reforms. In fact, the Republican plan is to repeal the Affordable Care Act, eliminate services like free preventive care, and return to a broken system that leaves insurers in the driver’s seat of Oklahoma’s health care. Instead of expanding access to health care in Oklahoma, Governor Fallin continues to play politics and refuses to expand Medicaid, which would provide health care coverage for many of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens.

“Republicans like Mary Fallin and Jim Inhofe continue to stand in the way of improving health care for Oklahoma families,” said Chairman Collins. “The GOP’s plan is simple: repeal the Affordable Care Act, take away benefits that lower costs for Oklahomans, and return to a completely broken system. Under the Affordable Care Act, more than 800,000 Oklahomans have received preventive care with no copay. That’s progress, and it’s why Democrats are committed to improving the Affordable Care Act and making it work. Republicans’ only plan is to make the system worse.”

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[1] Source: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/PreventiveServices/ib_prevention.cfm
[2] Source: http://stateimpact.npr.org/oklahoma/maps/interactive-map-uninsured-in-oklahoma/

02 Dec
0

AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE IS HERE!

The Republican Party’s angst against the colloquially named “Obamacare” is probably due to the millions of dollars they have wasted demeaning it. Whether they like it or not, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) can only be reversed if voters become lazy and allow Republicans to gain control of all three branches of our federal government. What both parties should do is look ahead to when the PPACA is fully implemented. Then, evaluate the final results when affordable healthcare for everyone is completed. A negative critique of a project at its inception is a wasteful effort in futility, politically and financially.

Those that see the PPACA as a form of socialism are only fooling their constituents. Health insurance plans we purchase come from private insurance companies, not the U.S. Government. PPACA Exchanges (Marketplaces) were designed to be state-operated from the beginning. However, 36 states – with Republicans in full control of those governments – refused to establish the anticipated Exchanges. Those states’ refusals left it up to the Federal Government to fill the void. Ergo, when the Federal Marketplace opened up for online operation, it was overwhelmed by the millions of people who were abandoned by their state governments. Isn’t it ironic how history repeats itself?

The same problems occurred when Medicare Part D was initiated under the George W. Bush presidency even with a Republican-controlled House and Senate.

Recently, we were reminded of the equally controversial roll-outs of both E-Bay and Amazon. What short, selective memories we have.

Today, in most part, Republicans are putting forth misinformation designed to convince the public that what we had before the PPACA was enacted is still the best healthcare we can ever have. With that concept now being discovered false, they are at loss regarding what to use to generate their next fear-tactics rhetoric. The House has enacted challenges to repeal all or parts of the PPACA 46 times – all to no avail.

Because Governor Fallin and her Republican legislators refused to adopt the PPACA , according to the Kaiser Foundation, 144,480 citizens of Oklahoma (ages 26-65) will “fall into the uninsured gap” – being neither eligible for Medicaid nor able to qualify for Marketplace subsidies to help pay their insurance premiums.

Most of the truly important parts of the PPACA have already taken effect, and hundreds of millions of Americans are benefiting from its passage. What the Republicans, in their battle against affordable healthcare, hope we haven’t discovered are:

(1) Young adults may now remain on their parent’s health plan until age 26.

(2) We cannot be denied health insurance due to a pre-existing medical condition or have a plan cancelled because of a pay-out cap for a catastrophic illness.

(3) In states which expanded their Medicaid programs, (OKLAHOMA DID NOT) young adults whose parents carry no insurance – and those older than 26 – may now be eligible for Medicaid. Because the federal government also operates an Insurance Marketplace, qualifying young adults of Oklahoma may apply for health insurance and receive subsidies to assist in paying the premiums.

(4) Everyone currently enrolled in Medicaid, or who obtains health coverage through the Marketplace, will have preventive care with regular exams from the medical profession. (This part of the Act will also affect seniors 65 or older as there are no co-pays for these yearly procedures.)

(5) Pregnant women of Oklahoma, fortunate enough to afford health insurance, will now receive pre-natal care which was not offered prior to the PPACA.

Readers, take note! More Republican fear tactics are forthcoming! They now have a new list of phrases to use in future town hall meetings, i.e., “I Lost My insurance” – “Cost of Healthcare Increasing,”- “Negative Stories Heard,” etc..

In the months leading up to 2014 elections, another coordinated attack on both Democrats and the PPACA – to generate groundless fears – will come!

Kenneth Wells

580-444-2563

19 Nov
0

OKLAHOMA! HEALTHCARE TIME IS NOW!

November 20, 2013 Article
By: Kenneth Wells

OKLAHOMA! HEALTHCARE TIME IS NOW!

It is too bad that we have to be reminded of the same arguments which surrounded Social Security and Medicare when those two most popular government-sponsored programs were started. Both were classified as socialistic, communistic, efforts to break the government – and in the case of Medicare – reasons for doctors to terminate their practices and close their doors, none of which came true!

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has had a bumpy startup with a greater volume of customers than anticipated and a Republican-controlled House doing all it can to completely eradicate thePPACA. The Republicans reported that their latest attempt to damage the PPACA created a “mass exodus of Democrats” to Republicans’ ideology. The actual number in that “MASS” is small. In four years, Republicans have been able to gain a grand total of FOUR more Democrats than the total number of Democrats voting against the PPACA on March 10, 2010.

When presenting statistics, Republicans’ failing memories preclude them from acknowledging that only 132 enrollments occurred during the first year of Massachusetts’ state-run health plan (model for today‘s PPACA). Today, Massachusetts reports 90% participation!

According to a November 14, 2013 article in NewsOK (a cautiously conservative news outlet) on November 1, 2013, 346 Oklahomans had selected a plan from the Federal Marketplace (almost three times the number during Massachusetts’s FIRST YEAR). Additionally, over 6,500 Oklahomans have completed the Marketplace application on healthcare.gov but have not yet decided upon a policy. NewsOK’s article also reported that over 1,400 of those Oklahomans who applied through the Marketplace were eligible for financial assistance with which to purchase health insurance.

Oklahoma Policy Institute reported that 2,412 from that same group were eligible for enrollment in Medicaid (Sooner Care)/CHIP. Where do these people fit in the lineup of people awaiting access to Oklahoma Sooner Care? Governor Fallin and the State Legislature MUST ACT NOW to Expand Medicaid for all eligible Oklahomans!

Responding to President Obama’s plan to bring the insurance industry back into line with the PPACA, the Republicans again disrupted implementation. According to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) – reported byThe Center for American Progress – “…it was a ‘targeted strike’ on the law and just one more step on the road to appeal.” This feeble attempt to nullify the law would put in place an amendment allowing insurees to keep their current policies for one to two years longer and allow insurers to accept new enrollees while retaining the option to cancel policies at any time for any reason. Those plans could exempt catastrophic illness, include a payment cap on claims one might not be aware of or exempt arbitrary pre-existing conditions which would cancel a policy.

NOTE: Policies written – or re-issued – after March 2010 ARE NOT INCLUDED in the “grandfather” clause of the PPACA. Insurance companies should be held accountable for issuing those policies, knowing they would be worthless January 2014!

Sadly, the successes of PPACA receive very little notice from the media in Oklahoma. To this writer, that is extremely peculiar since the states that have set up State-Run Marketplaces are moving along smoothly. Are we not worthy of the same considerations?

David Blatt, Oklahoma Policy Institute’s Director, was quoted in the same NewsOK article, “It is going to require a real effort to assure people that things have been fixed. At the same time, the need is there, the demand is there, and we know there are thousands of Oklahomans who are looking to the Exchange to get the affordable coverage they have not had in the past.”

Governor Fallin’s glib remarks about the problems of the Affordable Care Act should remind us to acknowledge the successes of both Social Security and Medicare. A decade from now, we will take pride in this successful endeavor – The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act!

08 Nov
0

“COMPROMISE EQUALS GOOD GOVERNMENT”

November 6, 2013 Article

“COMPROMISE EQUALS GOOD GOVERNMENT”

In his final message to the nation, President George Washington wrote, “One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and the aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourself too much against the jealousies and heart burnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.”

Today, we have a government with two parties fighting for control which, at times, is a detriment to our economy and our citizens. However, it has been pointed out that we really have four parties operating within our two-party political system – the Moderates and Ultra Left of the Democrats vs the Moderates and Ultra Right of the Republicans. To function, the government – it seems – might operate much more effectively if the Moderates of both parties formed an allegiance. Or, with four divisions, let us consider the inequities:

(1) While the Republicans feel that the size of government should return to the functionality of the established government upon the inception of our nation, the Democrats believe in the Preamble to the Constitution, meaning that Congress is responsible to see to the welfare of its citizens. When a population grows by multiples of millions, it is only common sense that the government must continue to grow. If a less governmental spending is the desire of some congressional members, they might consider cutting their salaries and expense accounts.

(2) A smaller government could result in a smaller organized Department of Defense comprised of community militias with little or no coordinated training. That would fit right in with the National Rifle Association’s less than accurate interpretation of the “right-to-bear arms”.

(3) Republicans proclaim that their stance on abortion, due to a religious teaching, is acceptable. To make that stance a political doctrine is not. That is but one example of why the Constitution clearly divides church from state. A WOMAN’S right to retain control of her body is a right which no MAN should be able to legislate away.

(4) Republicans want fewer regulations for their campaign contributors, while asking for increased governance in everyone’s bedrooms. Making reference to one limited source, in support of a premise, does not lead to an intelligent and/or thoughtful decision on an issue. The Republican Party platform – to which the majority of its members adhere – is no longer compatible with mainstream living in America.

(5) Democrats believe in clean air to breathe, safe water to drink and safe working conditions for employees. They also believe in an economy which offers employees the choice of joining bargaining groups to better their wages and working conditions. The opposite side touts their past misrepresentations to the population, wrongly convincing them that “right-to-work” laws would create more and better paying jobs. This, like trickle-down economics, has proven to be a disaster for the middle class. Organized unions, the backbone of the middle class, had very effective apprenticeship programs which promoted quality skills in and financial progressions for its members.

(6) If Republicans have their way, allowing global warming and atmospheric polluting to go unchecked, we will all have to learn how to row a boat or swim. Democrats would rather live on solid dry land and maintain a balance at the North and South Poles.

(7) To have a workforce that increases national productivity requires adequate education. Not everyone will matriculate at Harvard or Yale. Still, everyone should be afforded an education, with assistance from our government if needed, which allows them to progress economically. Trying to unobtrusively continue to reduce the financing of grades Pre-K-12 in public schools, while spending public schools’ dollars to add to the number of for-profit charter schools is discriminatory and does not give all Americans a fair chance at an equitable life.

Ken Wells

580-444-25