Will new leaders live up to promises?

December 30, 2010

Dear Editor:

On December 24, The Tulsa World reported that Oklahoma would receive $20 million for health reform.  During the 2010 campaign Republican candidates uniformly voiced opposition to what they refer to as “ObamaCare” and stated they would “push back” against any aspect of national health care reform.

It is both interesting and surprising that our Governor-Elect, Attorney General-Elect and Insurance Commissioner-Elect have been silent about the $20 million coming to Oklahoma as part of “Obamacare.”  Equally surprising is the fact that this is now referred to by its official title as the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” instead of “Obamacare.”

I am asking that these three newly-elected state leaders and others who campaigned on the commitment to “push back” against what they determined to be a diabolical form of socialized medicine to step up now and refuse to receive the following revenue designed to impact these identified areas;      

·        $4.6 million to support capital development in health centers

·        $2.2 million for tribal, maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting programs

·        $2 million for demonstration projects to address health professions’ workforce needs

·        $2 million to strengthen public health infrastructure to improve health outcomes

·        $900,000 for the Pregnancy Assistance Fund Program

·        $3 million for biomedical research

·        Other programs to help early retirees to receive health coverage before they are eligible for Medicare

In the name of integrity, will we soon be hearing from these newly-elected officials that they will follow through and “push back” by rejecting this $20 million?  If not, will those newly-elected legislators who campaigned on this theme offer legislation which will block this revenue from being available to Oklahoma citizens and thereby avoid the credible charge of hypocrisy?

Ed Cannaday

Editor’s Note: Cannaday represents District 15 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which encompasses parts of Haskell, Le Flore, McIntosh, Muskogee and Sequoyah counties. He lives with his family in Porum.  

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