The Duncan Banner


January 8, 2014

PPCA — 6 Million registrants and counting

DUNCAN — While the rollout of the Patient Protection and Affordable Car Act had its problems with both the framing of the ACT, and ongoing daily, weekly opposition to it by a segment of our elected officials and citizens, it is an established law. As with Massachusetts’ healthcare law, the ACA is gaining wider participation each day.

An example of this was the participation at the web site from a few thousand on October 1, 2013 to 2 plus Million on Monday, December 23, 2013.

6 Million Citizens have obtained healthcare coverage through state or federal insurance marketplaces (exchanges) and Medicaid Expansion since the beginning of sign-ups on October 1, 2013. Of this number, 2.1 Million have obtained private health insurance through the marketplaces while 3.9 plus Million have been found eligible for Medicaid. If

Republican Governors and Legislators in half of the United States had expanded their Medicaid programs, that 3.9 Million figure would now total 8.7 Million insured Americans.

The 4.8 plus Million people who cannot afford insurance - or fall below the criteria for federal assistance with policy premiums - have been left without insurance in their respective states and can now only correct that situation through the electoral process. In Oklahoma, the number of those people left without insurance has been estimated to be 1.3 Million, All but a small fraction of this 1.3 Million are being denied health coverage because of Oklahoma’s Gubernatorial and Legislative refusals to accept federal funds allocated to support the expansion of Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, currently called “Sooner Care.”

As reported by the Center for American Progress, the number of people who have had their health insurance policy cancelled because they were sub-standard - and are not authorized subsidized coverage via the insurance marketplace or Medicaid - is  


a considerable difference from the 5 Million rumored numbers being voiced and bemoaned by the Republicans and conservative talk show hosts. It is a disappointment that every individual cannot obtain healthcare coverage in a country as rich as is the United States and with its history of helping those in need.

Another part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which is seemingly causing concerns is the overblown “flap” about doctors removing patients from their clientele. This is the same one that we heard during the start-up of Medicare. Today, with 95 percent of the population either carrying health insurance or on Medicaid (Sooner Care in Oklahoma), the doctors who follow this dogma will eventually reconsider their decisions or realize only about 5 percent of the population from whom to draw their incomes. Historically, they have always reconsidered. And every Oklahoma hospital would be grateful if this state would expand its current Medicaid program!

Socially, there is a definite “up-side” to our PPACA. With the advent of the individual aspect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, people are no longer held hostage to a job because they need the security of a company’s health insurance provision. To scrap the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at this late date, with no all-encompassing plan for healthcare, will take away coverage for millions of Americans who now are enrolled in health insurance plans which include those individuals with pre-existing conditions, women, children and seniors.

Stephens County Democrats will hold their first 2014 meeting Thursday, January 16. It will be held in the “Interurban Restaurant,” 1800 N. Country Club Rd., Duncan, OK. A no-host dinner starts at 5:30 PM with the business meeting following at 6:30 PM. Discussion to open and staff the office will be on the agenda. A surprise Featured Speaker will be present. Anticipate lively information and discussion to round out the evening!

Be sure to mark your calendar and attend this important meeting. Remember, “Participation is the key to Success!”

Kenneth Wells, 580-444-2563

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  • Governor, state Legislature have misplaced priorities

    If the Oklahoma State Legislators and our Governor spent less time interfering in women’s rights to manage their bodies, creating ways to lay more taxes and fees on the middle class in order to generate more tax breaks which benefit only the wealthy while also conceiving methods with which to fill Oklahoma’s for-profit prisons, they would be doing all of us a favor. Instead, why not work to enhance funding for our schools and wage increases for all school employees? While reforming the state’s educational budget, why don’t they approve wage increases for our Oklahoma State Troopers and enlarge their Academy to insure qualified individuals are ready to fill the upcoming vacancies as many of the older force retire?

    April 9, 2014

  • Self government key to keeping politicians in check

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that federal campaign laws that limit the total amount of money donors can give to political parties, committees and candidates for federal office (U.S. House, Senate, and President) was unconstitutional. The ruling will not increase the current $2,600 limit on how much a donor can give to a federal candidate in each primary and general election or the $32,400 limit that can go to a national party committee. Those limits are still in place.  The ruling will instead remove the limit on how many candidates/committees to which a donor can contribute.

    April 9, 2014

  • Legislative goals crucial to priorities in education

    I am a member of several professional organizations where I attend regular meetings, network with colleagues, and stay abreast and informed on education best practices.  The Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, better known as CCOSA, is a nonprofit organization that establishes close and continuous communication and cooperation between educators, taxpayers, and legislators to improve the effectiveness of professional school administrators and to communicate the needs of schools. Attendance this time of year is especially critical because legislators are in session.

    March 28, 2014

  • An impressive ranking that could be better

    That Duncan was named one of the best 15 communities in Oklahoma by Movoto, a national Real Estate company, is news worth celebrating.
    Of 43 places with population of 10,000 or more, as determined by the U.S. Census data, Duncan finished 15th. Norman was first, Edmond second, Yukon and Moore tied for third and Bethany was fifth.

    March 9, 2014

  • Kids shouldn’t have to pay for having punster parents

    Friends and neighbors, I’ve been cloistered in my Thought Chamber for the past few days, contemplating many high-brow philosophies and haughty hypothesis that we who think on a different level use to exercise our finely-tuned minds and remain intellectually superior to the Great Unwashed.
    As you see, the time alone has been intellectually beneficial. I just composed an opening sentence (what we in the journalism dodge call a “lead”) that’s 46 words long.

    March 9, 2014

  • The blissful serenity of No-TV Land

    Life without TV is possible. Maybe you should try it. I did. It’s a do-able thing, I tell you. I’m still here, no worse the wear, no oozing wounds, no serious loss of brainwave activity except for the slow, inexorable downhill decline that already started when TV viewing was a daily occurrence.

    Granted, two months without the tube is quite likely not a scientifically acceptable sample from which is to hold forth. But it’s the best I can do, so deal with it.

    March 9, 2014

  • Cooper’s message is to remain active

    Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the Dallas physician who coined the phrase “aerobics” more than four decades ago, who has become a world leader in physical fitness and who has saved, literally, thousands of lives by promoting the value of an active lifestyle, shared his philosophy of life here last week.

    March 9, 2014

  • Time to take the “B” out of the “Three R’s”

    Our young folks are hitting the stretch drive toward the end of another school year, during which they’ve been taught “Three R’s”, which are not really “r’s” at all.
    In case you missed it, reading is the only one of the “Three R’s” that actually begins with the letter “r.” Writing starts with a “w” and arithmetic begins with the letter “a.” There are two reasons we drop the “w” from “writing” and the “a” from “arithmetic”: 1. For poetic flow in the age-old saying; and, 2. many people have a secret yen to talk like the Beverly Hillbillies.

    February 23, 2014

  • Thank you for lettin’ me be myself again

    Friends and neighbors, hope I don’t sound like the biggest egomaniac since Donald Trump, but you know, I am the most interesting person I’ve ever known.
    Forgive me if — on first blush — that sounds like the most totally self-aggrandizing statement you’ve ever heard. And if you’ve headed to the restroom to express an editorial opinion about the statement above, I’ll stop for a couple minutes.

    February 15, 2014

  • Buzz misfired in Vanity Fair body slam of Duncan

    As the new kid in town, I’m reluctant to leap atop the ramparts to defend the honor of Duncan, Okla., my new adopted hometown.
    But to heck with that. When an out-of-towner comes into your house and soils your rug, it’s on.
    I speak, of course, about the article in Vanity Fair magazine about Duncan and the  killing last year of Chris Lane, the Australian who was gunned down in August.

    January 24, 2014