Tuesday, May 11, 2021

OK Attorney General announces deal to return state's Hydroxychloroquine stockpile

Well, let's take a look at what we've got:
  • In January, Attorney General Mike Hunter filed a petition in district court for over $1.8 million over a personal protective equipment order that a company never delivered to the Oklahoma Department of Health.
  • In April, AG Hunter filed a lawsuit against a company for failing to deliver an order of ventilators to the Oklahoma State Department of Health at the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. In the lawsuit, the state claims the OSDH paid over $890,000 for 40 ventilators last April. The company had only delivered two ventilators by June 2020. Despite canceling the order in October, the company had 21 ventilators delivered in December. The Oklahoma State Department of Health returned the wrongfully delivered ventilators but has not received a refund.
And here we learn that the OSDH is getting a refund for returning $2.6 million worth of hydroxychloroquine that was purchased during the well-intentioned but seemingly misguided Trump-fueled craze for the drug last spring.


Attorney General Hunter Strikes Deal to Return Hydroxychloroquine Stockpile

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today announced he has reached an agreement with FFF Enterprises to return the state’s stockpile of hydroxychloroquine for a refund.

Based on the unique circumstances encountered by the Oklahoma Department of Health, the company has agreed to return to the Department of Health the full purchase price paid for the medication last year.

The Oklahoma State Health Department purchased hydroxychloroquine at the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic ​after the federal Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for the drug as a treatment for the virus.

After ​the federal Food and Drug Administration revoked the emergency use authorization, the Oklahoma State Health Department asked the attorney general to get involved.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Gov. Stitt signs bill prohibiting “Critical Race Theory” curriculum


Governor Signs Bill Prohibiting “Critical Race Theory” Curriculum

OKLAHOMA CITY – The governor today signed a bill that will prohibit Oklahoma public schools, colleges and universities from teaching “Critical Race Theory” and from requiring mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling.

House Bill 1775 is authored by Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore.

“I’m grateful to the governor for seeing the need for signing this crucial legislation,” West said. “Already, this harmful indoctrination has infiltrated Oklahoma schools from as early as pre-kindergarten classrooms all the way through college courses. Some of our state universities currently are requiring this mandatory training for their freshman students.”

West notes that much of the curriculum, often referred to as “Critical Race Theory” is based on Marxist ideology that is designed to teach children to hate American exceptionalism and distrust others based on skin color or sex. Additionally it teaches that most laws and systems in America are historically rooted in the racist oppression of people of color and other marginalized groups. It promotes the theory of implicit bias and inherent racism due to one’s skin color.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

OCPA column: Starting a bonfire with your money


Starting a bonfire with your money
By Jonathan Small

Do you think the problem with state government is agencies are too small and inexpensive? Perhaps Republicans in the Oklahoma House of Representatives do, because they’ve voted to increase the number of state employees by more than 1,000 and dramatically boost the cost of Medicaid expansion.

Due to passage of an initiative petition, Oklahoma’s Medicaid program will add hundreds of thousands of able-bodied adults to the rolls starting in July, costing anywhere from $164 million to $374 million based on estimates.

But now House Republicans have voted to further boost the added cost by up to another $277 million per year. That should leave all citizens shaking their heads—especially since another option exists.

Gov. Kevin Stitt has called for contracting with private managed care companies that would be paid a fee to oversee implementation of Medicaid benefits. Those companies would direct patients to preventative care and early treatment, which costs less, ultimately reducing expensive hospitalizations. If costs exceed what the private companies are paid, the private company pays the difference, protecting Oklahoma taxpayers from price shocks.

But House Republicans have voted to instead have the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) handle cost-control internally. If the OHCA doesn’t control costs, there are no financial penalties for failure. In fact, the agency would probably ask for more funding.

But that’s not the worst of it.

Monday, May 03, 2021

Gov. Stitt: "COVID-19 no longer an emergency", withdraws State of Emergency Declaration

GOVERNOR STITT WITHDRAWS COVID-19 STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARATION

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 3, 2021) – Governor Kevin Stitt today signed Executive Order 2021-11 to withdraw and rescind the COVID-19 State of Emergency effective Tuesday, May 4.

In a video message, Gov. Stitt pointed out that Oklahoma’s 7-day average of new cases is down 94% from its peak and among the lowest per capita rates in the country. Stitt also mentioned that hospitalizations are down 90% and are stable.

The governor said his decision was made possible by the collective actions taken by Oklahomans over the past year.