BY JAMES NIMMO
Can Oklahoma’s citizens rouse themselves out of their obesity torpor?
The Vermont House of Representatives recently passed a statewide health care plan by a vote of 92 to 49. The bill still needs passage by the Vermont Senate.
You can read about it here: http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/12530
Vermont is 49th in population according to the latest Census figures. Plus they have many more elected representatives relative to their population.
Using this wikilink for the statistics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population Vermont has a ratio of House representatives of 1 to 4,100 of population. That looks to me like a very small crowd for lobbyists to use for camouflage and a chance for every voter to make personal contact with their elected representative and to be remembered by that representative.
On the other hand, Oklahoma is 28th in population, just below the middle in numbers and in the geographic middle as the native-born so like to point out. And speaking of middle, Oklahoma has one of the highest obesity populations in America, weighing in at 30% or more. http://www.hpj.com/archives/2009/aug09/aug17/0713OSUobesityinOKko.cfm
The ratio of representative to district member is one for 38,265 of Oklahoma’s citizens, lots of opportunity for lobbyists to get lost in the crowd as well as the individuality of the citizens.
Remember, these numbers represent the population, not just registered voters who are either informed about the need for health care or those just roused by Koch Brothers’ paid propaganda.
Health care is a human right as this press release points out. It is not something to be doled out by your employer as a threat to keeping you in line on the job. Nor should universal health care be used as a campaign threat made by candidates whose intent in bringing up health care is as a ploy to make voters think the bad wicked government is trying to take away your “right” to die in pain and poverty and earlier than you might otherwise die.
Wouldn’t you think Oklahoma’s citizens could rouse themselves out of their obesity torpor and demonstrate for health care?
Mary Fallin campaigned for governor as a mother and won. Shouldn’t a good religious values mother value the welfare of her state’s population as well as her own genetic and second-marriage children’s welfare?
– James Nimmo lives in Oklahoma City and is an occasional contributor to The Oklahoma Observer