In Oklahoma, treat the cause of the problem
By Tom Coburn
As a doctor, I investigated the root cause of problems. Some doctors have fallen into the trap of just treating symptoms — this is the major reason for the overdose epidemic.
In government, the prime way politicians, bureaucrats and some advocates approach government is to throw your hard-earned money at it. The answer to state government’s failures isn’t more money — it’s fiscally responsible governance.
Recurring revenues have been raised more than $700 million the past several years. State reports show the budget gap at less than $200 million. State government operational dysfunction abounds — for example, the scandal of at least $30 million squandered at the state Health Department. Oklahomans are striving to get out of a recession. Working Oklahomans need $800 million in annual tax increases like a hemorrhaging patient needs leeches.
Opportunities are numerous for fiscally responsible governance, so tax increases are unnecessary. Robust Medicaid enrollment audits are saving states billions — Oklahoma can implement this and save more than $80 million in state-share funds annually.