November 18, 2009

Let's Make Oklahoma Healthier

The Tulsa World reported today that Oklahoma ranks 49th when it comes to the health of our citizens. This is upsetting news for everyone, even healthy people, because there are very real economic implications to this kind of poor health. Preventable illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths drive up health care costs for every single Oklahoman, straining family budgets and making it difficult for businesses to hire new workers.

As the next governor, working to improve our health in Oklahoma will be a priority. By making health insurance more affordable, we can increase access to the kind of treatment that helps to reduce the kind of preventative illnesses that lead to tragedy and sickness. Bringing down costs will also bolster our economy by reducing the amount of money businesses and families spend on health care premiums and benefits.

According to the state health commissioner, 5320 Oklahomans die each year due to preventable illnesses. It’s up to all of us to bring that number down. As your next governor, I’ll work to reform our health care system and to encourage companies and organizations to offer healthy living options, like gym memberships, to their employees and members. As individuals, however, we must all assume personal responsibility for our own lifestyles. I think we owe it to ourselves, our families and each other to live better, healthier lives.

Oklahoma can do better than second to last when it comes to the health of our citizens. Let’s work together to make sure it does.