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Providing health care access is pro-business

BY AMY DUNN Published: December 15, 2012

I serve as board treasurer for Variety Care, a nonprofit community health center serving about 56,000 lower-income people in Oklahoma City and southwest Oklahoma. Our doctors and dentists bill Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance, but we also raise money and use United Way dollars to offer uninsured Oklahomans affordable self-pay options. Our results are amazing. By providing quality primary care to these uninsured patients, we prevent or manage chronic illnesses. We keep them at work and out of the hospital. We keep their kids in school, and we keep working adults healthier, making them less expensive for Medicare at age 65.

But what we can't do is choose to accept billions of dollars into our economy to help 130,000 Oklahomans and support countless Oklahoma businesses. Only our elected officials can do that.

Providing health care access is pro-business, and by pulling together to improve the lives of all Oklahomans, it is pro-Oklahoma. Fallin and many legislators ran their campaigns on a pro-business platform, promising to make good fiscal decisions for our state. This is their chance to prove it.

Dunn is a vice president at CB Richard Ellis in Oklahoma City.