On Monday, legislators were joined at the Capitol by the CEO of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Kevin Corbett, who also serves as the Governor’s Secretary of Health and Mental Health. Sec. Corbett gave an update on Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma.

As of Aug. 23, Oklahoma has seen 167,483 enrollments in Medicaid. Of these people, 101,821 were new members and 65,662 were previously enrolled in other programs but moved over to Medicaid. OHCA has about 800 people signing up every day, but this is expected to taper off in the coming months.

Sec. Corbett told us that, by spending, the top services Oklahomans have used Medicaid for are prescribed drug services, inpatient services, outpatient services, physician services, and behavioral health services.

To find more information about Medicaid eligibility and to sign up, visit oklahoma.gov/ohca/expansion.html.

Also this week, I sat in on an interim study that examined the Georgia Agribusiness and Rural Jobs Act and how it brings business to rural Georgia. The act helps finance new businesses in rural Georgia and has relocated several companies from New York to Georgia, some of whom we heard from on Monday.

To watch the study, visit https://okhouse.gov/Video/Default.aspx and access the calendar to the left of the screen. This interim study was on Aug. 30 in the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.

If you watch the study, please let me know your thoughts on the program and if you would be supportive of implementing a similar program here in Oklahoma.

On Sept. 14, I will be joining my fellow members of the Children, Youth and Family Services Committee for an interim study on the effects of incarceration on families. While Oklahoma is no longer the No. 1 incarcerator in the country, we remain in the top three. One in six Oklahoma children has at least one incarcerated parent, and the long-term effects of incarceration on children and families cannot be ignored. I am eager to see what further information we will learn in the interim study.

If you haven’t heard, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been fully approved by the Federal Drug Administration. If you’re interested in being vaccinated, reach out to your local pharmacy or check with the Payne County Health Dept., which requires no appointment. As a reminder, COVID-19 vaccines are completely free.

A third dose is currently being offered for moderately to severely immunocompromised people, and it may soon be approved for anyone who received the first two doses eight months prior.

If you don’t want the vaccine but need a COVID-19 test, you can set up an appointment with the Payne County Health Dept. The Stillwater location can be reached at 405-372-8200 and the Cushing location is available at 918-225-3377.

Before I wrap up this week’s column, I wanted to share information about the upcoming fifth annual Walk for Trey event on Sat., Sept. 11, to raise awareness for suicide prevention. We will meet at the Yale High School gym, and I will speak briefly before the walk starts at 9 a.m. We anticipate being finished by 10 a.m. I hope you will consider joining us.

As always, please reach out to my office with any questions or concerns. You can contact me at john.talley@okhouse.gov and 405-557-7304.

Thank you for allowing me to serve House District 33!

Rep. John Talley, a Republican, serves District 33 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which covers Logan and Payne Counties.

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