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12 Dec
0

Fallin Forces Resignation

For Immediate Release
December 12, 2012
Contact: Trav Robertson
405.427.3366

 FALLIN FORCES RESIGNATION

Governor Mary Fallin Forces State Health Board Member to Resign

Oklahoma City–  Oklahoma’s Department of Health is managed by a nine-member board which is comprised of people appointed by the Governor. Recently, it became public knowledge that Governor Fallin’s rejection of Medicaid dollars forced the board’s public health policy committee chairman, Glenn Davis, DDS to resign. 

Davis, a dentist from Shawnee, told the Governor in a resignation letter, “I will not serve as a ‘rubber stamp’ for the status quo in this political environment.” 

Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Wallace Collins said, “The Governor is sending our money to other states, which is so ridiculous that her appointees are rejecting her anti-health policies.”

The Governor first accepted and then turned away $54 million in Federal funds to set up a health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Now those funds have been sent to other states, while she allows the Federal Government to come in and set up an exchange for Oklahoma.

“She continues to put her head in the sand on implementing the Affordable Care Act,” commented Chairman Collins. “She should act like a leader and be responsible with our tax dollars.”

Earlier this week Governor Fallin tried to take credit for the improved overall ranking of Oklahoma in a national survey of public health.

“Governor Fallin wants to proclaim ‘look what I did’ almost three years after historic healthcare reform was passed on the federal level!”, Chairman Collins continued. “If you look at the benefits of Obamacare, she should be one of the President’s biggest cheerleaders.”

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Source: Oklahoma Improves State Health Ranking (Governor’s Office)

11 Dec
0

Insurance Commissioner Builds Expensive New Playhouse?

For Immediate Release
December 11, 2012
Contact: Trav Robertson
405.427.3366

 DOAK BUILDS EXPENSIVE NEW PLAYHOUSE?

John Doak Relocates Insurance Dept. to Tulsa in a Costly Move

Oklahoma City– Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner, John Doak, is using the Oklahoma Insurance Department as his own personal toy box. During the past month he has spent $180,000 of taxpayer money on SWAT level shotguns and reinforced police vehicles for his anti-fraud unit, which he decimated over a year ago by firing six out of nine investigators. He continues a pattern of bad behavior by not serving the people of Oklahoma and instead focusing his attention on non-essential tasks.

“Why is he buying $180,000 worth of equipment for a unit that he obliterated? Does he want to create his own police force?” Asked Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Wallace Collins. “The Insurance Commissioner is abusing his power as the head of that department by purchasing unnecessary weapons and vehicles, just so he can give them to his friends, so they can intimidate Oklahomans.”

In his newest scheme to raise taxes, Doak is planning to relocate the Insurance Department headquarters from Oklahoma City so he can be closer to his home in Tulsa. The move will increase the rent that Oklahoma taxpayers pay for from $2,000 per month to over $4,000 per month.

“Why is he focusing his administration on buying guns and moving offices?” Chairman Collins continued, “Instead of figuring out a solution to his self-created gap in health insurance coverage for newborns, he is going out for another round of target practice with his buddies.” 

John Doak started building his boy’s club back in January of 2011 when he fired most of the anti-fraud unit. He then put three former Republican legislators in charge, who are each receiving a base salary of $99,000 per year as Deputy Commissioners. The leader of the anti-fraud unit is former Senator Randy Brogdon, who was a heating and air conditioning specialist before his tenure in the legislature. 

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Source: Insurance Officials Moving to Tulsa, (Tulsa World)

10 Dec
0

Senate Democratic Leadership Team and Committee Assignments

Oklahoma State Senate

Communications Division

State Capitol

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

 

For Immediate Release:  

Senate Democratic Leader Burrage announces leadership team and committee assignments

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Democratic Caucus announced their leadership team for the 54th Legislature Monday.  Senator Sean Burrage will once again serve as Democratic Leader.

“I’m honored to once again be entrusted to lead our caucus.  I’m looking forward to working on those issues important to our members and constituents,” said Burrage, D-Claremore.  “Our caucus members have a tremendous amount of expertise and we are anxious to put that knowledge to work for the citizens of Oklahoma and work with our colleagues across the aisle to strengthen Oklahoma’s economy and protect our state’s hardworking families.”

Burrage will be officially re-elected to his leadership position on Tuesday, January 8 when the Senate convenes for its Organizational Day.

The Democratic Leadership team is as follows:

Assistant Democratic Leader:

Senator Roger Ballenger

Senator Jerry Ellis

Senator John Sparks

Senator Charles Wyrick

 

Democratic Caucus Chair:

Senator Tom Ivester

 

Democratic Caucus Vice Chair:

Senator Susan Paddack

 

Democratic Whip:

Senator Earl Garrison

Senator Al McAffrey

Sen. Burrage also announced the democratic committee assignments for the upcoming session.

 

Monday committee membership:

 

Education Committee:

Sen. Garrison

Sen. Paddack

Sen. Sparks

 

General Government Committee:

Sen. Ballenger

Sen. Ellis 

 

Health and Human Services Committee:

Sen. Johnson

Sen. Shumate

 

Agriculture and Rural Development Committee:

Sen. Bass

Sen. Wyrick

 

Pensions Committee:
Sen. Ballenger

Sen. Ivester

 

Tuesday committee membership:

 

Judiciary Committee:

Sen. Ivester

Sen. Shumate

 

Finance Committee:

Sen. Johnson

Sen. McAffrey

Sen. Sparks

 

Tourism and Wildlife Committee:

Sen. Ellis

Sen. Garrison

Sen. Wyrick

 

Transportation Committee:

Sen. Bass

Sen. Paddack

Sen. McAffrey

 

Wednesday Committees:

 

Appropriations Committee:

Sen. Bass

Sen. Ellis

Sen. Ivester

Sen. Johnson

Sen. Paddack

Sen. Wyrick

 

Veterans and Military Affairs Committee:

Sen. Bass

Sen. Garrison

Sen. Ivester

Sen. Ballenger

Sen. Sparks

 

Rules Committee:

Sen. Johnson

Sen. McAffrey

Sen. Shumate

Sen. Sparks

Sen. Wyrick

 

Appropriations Subcommittees:

 

Appropriations Subcommittee on Education:

Sen. Sparks

Sen. Paddack

 

Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation:

Sen. Bass

Sen. Garrison

 

Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services:

Sen. Johnson

Sen. Shumate

 

Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources:

Sen. Ballenger

Sen. Ellis

 

Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary:

Sen. Ivester

Sen. McAffrey

 

Appropriations Subcommittee on Non-Appropriated Agencies:
Sen. Ivester

Sen. Wyrick

 

Thursday Committees:

 

Energy Committee:

Sen. Ivester

Sen. Johnson

Sen. Paddack

Sen. Wyrick

 

Business and Commerce Committee:

Sen. Ellis

Sen. Garrison

Sen. Shumate

 

Public Safety Committee:

Sen. Ballenger

Sen. McAffrey

 

Insurance Committee:

Sen. Bass
Sen. Sparks

 

 

– 30 –

 

For more information, contact:

Sen. Burrage: (405) 521-5555

 

26 Nov
0

What is Governor Fallin Hiding?

For Immediate Release
November 26, 2012
Contact: Trav Robertson
405.427.3366

 WHAT IS GOVERNOR FALLIN HIDING?

Governor Mary Fallin Refuses to Release Decision Guiding Emails

Oklahoma City– Governor Mary Fallin continues to play politics with the lives of Oklahomans by refusing to implement a Health Insurance Exchange from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and now she is hiding her emails that informed her decision from the public.

“It’s a trust issue,” said Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Wallace Collins. “If we cannot trust her to tell us the reason why she will not implement the health insurance exchange, it makes you wonder, what is she hiding?”

Governor Fallin had previously accepted $54 million from the Federal Government to set up this exchange, but due to pressure from the tea party she returned the funds. Plus, Attorney General Scott Pruitt continues to waste taxpayer dollars in a frivolous lawsuit that is trying to keep Oklahomans from enjoying the benefits of the ACA.

Without the Affordable Care Act, a child born with asthma, autism, or Asperger’s Syndrome would have a pre-existing condition, allowing insurance companies to refuse coverage to that child later in life, even for other medical conditions unrelated to those previously mentioned. President Obama eliminated the pre-existing condition loophole! That means that those Oklahoma kids born without insurance, could now be covered by insurance and hopefully grow up healthy and able to lead a productive life!

Other positive benefits of ACA include an elimination of retroactive cancellations, meaning that an insurance company could no longer raise your premiums or cancel your policy just because you filed a claim, or accidentally left out information that had no bearing on your health. The Act also prevents higher co-pays or co-insurance for out-of-network emergency room services. Additionally, insurance companies must spend at least 80% of your premium dollars on coverage, not for exorbitant CEO salaries and benefits. What’s not to like?

The reality is that the Affordable Care Act is a very good deal for Oklahoma, since the Federal Government will pay 100% of the cost for the first three years, and 90% of the cost in 2020 and every year after that.

In addition, Medicaid expansion could save Oklahoma money, since Medicaid will pay for expenditures that are currently paid for with State money in Departments such as Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and Corrections. One has to wonder what is the motivation by the Republican leaders of Oklahoma to deny us participation in the President’s health care initiative?

Oklahoma ranks near last place in overall health of our people in the country. According to the United Health Foundation, there are high prevalences of diabetes, smoking, obesity, limited availability of primary care physicians, and low use of prenatal care. Governor Fallin has outright attacked Oklahoma families by signing executive orders, such as the emergency rule (365:10-1-15) which denies newborns the right to be covered by their parents health insurance starting at birth.

“She is going to leave at least 150,000 Oklahomans in an insurance hole with no coverage!” Chairman Collins continued, “It is morally wrong for the Governor to deny Oklahomans access to health care.”

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19 Nov
0

Rep. Joe Dorman Statement on Governor’s Decision to Reject Exchange

Oklahoma House of Representatives

Media Division

November 19, 2012

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: State Rep. Joe Dorman

Mobile Phone: (405) 833-1117

E-mail: Joe.Dorman@okhouse.gov

 

Dorman Statement on Governor’s Decision to Reject Exchange

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Joe Dorman released the following statement today in response to the announcement by Gov. Mary Fallin that Oklahoma would not begin the implementation of an insurance exchange as required under the law.

 

“I believe that by failing to act on the implementation of a state-run health care exchange, we are removing ourselves from a process that is going to affect Oklahomans. I am disappointed in Governor Fallin’s decision to take no action at all to maintain local control over certain aspects of this federally-mandated law. I also believe that while many Oklahomans rejected the federal health care law, including myself when we were called to vote on fighting it for the original court battle, we cannot legally block it or nullify it because the United States Supreme Court has already ruled it constitutional. We also cannot start some kind of costly Don Quixote-style crusade against this when we know it will not be overturned by Congress just so some state politicians can look tough with political posturing, while costing us many more millions of taxpayer dollars. We need to maintain as much local control as possible with the health care law at the state level and leave the battle for changes in this law at the federal level as the “fiscal cliff” looms,” said Dorman, D-Rush Springs.

 

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