Health Insurance

The Value of an Employee

The Value of an Employee - January 27, 2019

State Representative David Perryman

Retail entrepreneurs have coined enduring mottos designed to invigorate the people who work for them. For instance, Marshall Field was famous for directing his employees to “Give the lady what she wants” and reminding them that “The Customer is Always Right.” What Mr. Fields and thousands of other successful CEO’s knew was that while the “Customer was King,” the men and women that he employed were the most important asset that he had.

Richard Branson, British entrepreneur, who founded the more than 400 companies comprising the Virgin Group and whose net worth exceeds $5 Billion, best captured the concept when he said, “Clients do not come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” This theme was not just British. For generations, the “partnership” between American business and its employees was strong and vibrant. The successful business model created “company men” and “company women” who in return for the security of employment and its benefits would contribute a lifetime of loyalty to their jobs.

Change came gradual. Whatever the reason, this era of massive pay gaps between executive salaries and other company employees is indicative of corporate America’s devaluation of its employees.

            According to a January 2018 report from the Economic Policy Institute, the average CEO pay is 271 times the average pay of the typical American worker. The Institute compares that with 1978, when CEO earnings were roughly 30 times the typical worker’s salary.

            Forbes Magazine in May 2018 reported that if we have any doubts about the disappearance of the American middle class, we need look no further than this pay-gap. That report stated that, “In the 1950’s, a typical CEO made 20 times the salary of his or her average worker and in 2017 CEO pay soared to an average of 361 times more than the average rank-and-file worker pay.”

            According to Al Lewis of Market Watch, frustration is heightened through our realization that when a business goes bankrupt, receives taxpayer bailouts or pay millions in fines for fraud, the average golden parachute for “forced out CEO’s” in 2013 was valued at $48 Million, while average employees are left in the cold.

The economic damage does not stop there. In increasing quantities, corporate assets are allocated to lobbying and legislative influencing through an embedded process that undermines pensions, workers compensation and other special benefits that have historically provided retirees and disabled workers with a safety net to prevent them from retiring into poverty or having to rely on welfare after their bodies become worn out or injured in the service to their employers.

            For instance, even though cases of black lung disease among miners was on the rise last year, a report in Roll Call published last week shows that coal companies and coal industry groups actively lobbied federal lawmakers against extending a program that has historically provided benefits for sufferers and their families. According to mandatory financial disclosures, the coal lobby spends between $1.5 and $2 Million annually to influence legislation. A portion of that last year was spent seeking a 55% decrease in the tax that funds the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. Legislators followed the industries direction and allowed the decrease to take effect despite the fact that since 1979, the fund has had to be supplemented nearly every year.

            Consequently, coal companies receive another big tax break while afflicted employees and their families are left to seek other sources of revenue to meet health and medical expenses they face solely because of the occupation that they engaged in.

            The situation is not foreign to Oklahoma where employees are suffering from similar treatment. Employers of tens of thousands of Oklahomans do not provide health insurance coverage and do not compensate their employers sufficiently to allow the employee to purchase health insurance. Without access to insurance, affected employees involuntarily become recipients of uncompensated care; hospitals and ambulance services are required to provide services for which they will never be paid; and the rest of us are subsidizing those employers who are not paying wages to cover the cost of housing, food, education and medical care.

            For the sake of protecting shareholder dividends and CEO salaries, uninsured employees are placing such a burden on Oklahoma’s health care providers that we may all lose health care access.

            Questions or comments, contact or 405-557-7401

An Apple a Day

An Apple a Day - January 13, 2019

State Representative David Perryman

We have all heard the common saying, “An apple a day will keep the doctor away.” What most of us don’t know is that it devolved from the 19th century Welsh proverb, “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

Both the original proverb and its more modern transliteration, touted the benefits of a healthy diet including fresh fruits and vegetables. But a more literal interpretation of the original version would indicate that physicians, pharmacists and other health care providers could be negatively impacted when trying to earn a living in a healthy society.

In Oklahoma, we need not worry about that. There is plenty of work to do. Our urgent consideration should be to address the root causes of our dire circumstances. Whether we first consider the rates by which Oklahomans are covered by some form of insurance or rates which Oklahoma citizens partake of healthy diets and exercise or rates of immunization, or availability of health care, we find that Oklahoma ranks near the bottom both in virtually all categories.

For instance, the “Physician Access Index (PAI)” published by Merrit Hawkins, nationally recognized experts in the placement of health care workers, examined, on a state-by-state basis, 33 benchmarks and metrics, including demographic, economic, health insurance coverage, physician, nurse practitioner and physician assistant workforce factors, that influence and determine patient access to medical services. The latest edition of that Index shows that Oklahoma’s overall score ranks dead last among all states.

However, do all these bad numbers, low rankings and unhealthy outcomes really matter? For instance, it is difficult to tell by the voting pattern of most Oklahomans that over the past 26 years the life expectancy of Oklahomans has dropped to the point that our state’s life expectancy is shorter than any other state in the country except Kentucky, according to an American Medical Association Report issued in April 2018.

It is appalling that Oklahoma’s elected officials continue to ignore reality and avoid addressing problems such as high uninsured rates; low reimbursement rates; discriminatory pharmaceutical prices and scores of other factors that need their attention.

For instance, Governor Fallin constant refusal to allow the Medicaid program to be made available to working Oklahomans whose employers do not provide health insurance and whose income is not sufficient to cover the cost of health insurance costs. This refusal has negatively affected Oklahoma hospitals, clinics, ambulance services and health care providers across the board.

            In similar fashion, Oklahoma’s elected State Insurance Commissioner has undermined the benefits of the Affordable Care Act by failing to properly regulate the rates and coverages of health insurance carriers. Oklahoma voters allow elected officials to take campaign contributions, defer control of their department to their donors and abdicate their duty to protect citizens.

Oklahoma cannot expect healthy citizens if insurance and pharmaceutical companies continue to run the show with a focus solely on net profit and not on health outcomes. Our state’s frail system of health care providers will never be strong enough to improve health outcomes so long as the delivery of quality of health care is undermined.

Last fall and spring when Oklahoma needed three sessions to address ten years of educational neglect, Arkansas used three days to adopt legislation preventing predatory and discriminatory pharmaceutical pricing. Arkansas was looking out for its citizens and communities by allowing small pharmacies to receive fair reimbursement rates. Oklahoma needs to do the same. I have filed a bill patterned after the Arkansas legislation to prevent drug stores from being harmed by corporate prescription benefit managers. It is a step that needs to be taken. Insurance Companies and PBM’s should not favor corporate pharmacies and thereby prevent rural physicians and druggists from “earning their bread.”

Questions or Comments should be directed to or 405-557-7401.

Careful What You Ask For

Careful What You Ask For

State Representative David Perryman

          The Christmas Season is upon us and for many, this time of year jogs family memories from decades ago. The holidays at my grandparent’s house were particularly full of life. In the late 1950’s they began using an aluminum Christmas tree that was marketed by a company in Wisconsin. For a little guy, it and the accompanying color wheel that splashed the tree with alternating shades of red, blue, green and amber, was a sight to behold.

Of course, the best memories are connected to cousins and aunts and uncles who came and went. There was Uncle Clarence who shared pockets full of lemon drops that he carried to keep his dentures from clacking.

Then there were the presents. Like the time that my grandfather who had four main goals in life: Maximize the yield on the wheat he grew; catch as many fish as possible as often as possible; make certain that neither the wheat nor the fish got in the way of dominos; and pull fast ones on as many family members as possible.

It was only fitting that the year he had asked for a shirt, that he opened a gift containing one that was “just like one I already have…smell and all.” Soon, after he realized that he was the butt of the joke, the unwashed shirt was replaced with his real gift, a brand new flannel to his liking.

In another case of “careful what you ask for,” Aunt Vivian and Uncle Edwin realized after they opened their third package containing a corn popper, that Vivian had probably mentioned that their old one had given up the ghost to a few too many people. Thank goodness for gift exchanges.

Unfortunately, some “gifts” are much more difficult to return. Currently the state’s health care infrastructure is in freefall and that fact is devastating to thousands of our fellow Oklahomans.

What Governor Fallin and the Oklahoma legislature have asked for is “savings” by not allowing more Oklahomans to enroll in Medicaid. The “gift” that Oklahomans are receiving from refusing to allow working Oklahomans whose employers neither provide health insurance nor pay wages adequate to allow the employees to purchase health insurance privately, is health outcomes among the worst in the country, an uninsured population that is among the worst in the country and rural hospitals and ambulance services that are being shuttered at rates among the highest in the country.

Uninsured Oklahomans hammer our state in two respects. The leading cause of personal bankruptcies are medical expenses and the leading cause of hospital closure is uncompensated care, defined as providing services for which payment will not be received. According to an October 2018 report issued by Wallethub, Oklahoma’s uninsured rate of 16.35% is second only to Texas.

Two reports released in the past week bear out the consequences. A Journal Record article reported that the United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings show that Oklahoma’s overall health ranking dropped from 43rd to 47th, the largest drop of any state. Simultaneously, according to an Oklahoman article, March of Dimes report showed that more than half of all counties in Oklahoma are “maternity deserts,” defined as not having a hospital performing deliveries or an obstetrics provider.

With hospital closures and bankruptcies across the state, conditions are not likely to improve. Cities like Frederick, Sayre, Pauls Valley and Eufaula are learning first-hand how partisan choices destroy a community’s health care infrastructure and impact everything from health outcomes, to life expectancy, to economic development.

While Medicaid expansion may or may not be the solution, Oklahomans can no longer endure the consequences of leaders who “just say no” and do not provide leadership toward an alternative solution. It is now evident that we are getting just what they asked for.

Questions or comments, contact David Perryman at 405-557-7401 or

Throw In a Rutabaga for the Appendectomy

Throw In a Rutabaga for the Appendectomy - August 21, 2016

State Representative David Perryman

Shortly after my wife was born, her father’s check paying the hospital in full was $86.30. The receipt showed that for the healthy delivery, three day hospital stay was itemized as $30 for the delivery room, $10 per day for her mother’s room, $5 per day for the nursery, $3.50 for miscellaneous expenses and a whopping $7.80 for drugs and other medications.

It was the era of country doctors who often rendered care and in lieu of cash, for years thereafter found unending supplies of fruits, vegetables, eggs and other gifts of heartfelt gratitude on their porches. That was then, this is now.

Much has changed in the health care industry. When President Reagan signed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act in 1986, medical facilities predicted that the mandate to treat everyone without regard to their ability to pay would place onerous burden on the financial solvency of America’s Emergency Rooms.

Thirty years later, uncompensated care, medical services rendered to the uninsured population has literally placed hospitals on “life support.”

So what is the answer? Does our country deny medical care to the growing number of Americans who cannot afford medical care and cannot afford medical insurance? There are many voices that protest against programs like Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, but few voices that have answers to these urgent questions. Unfortunately, our hospitals and clinics cannot survive in the current environment.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 12014, 45% of all Oklahomans receive their health insurance through an employer provided plan and 33% are either on Medicare, Medicaid or a similar program. Only about 5% of Oklahomans actually shop for and purchase their own individual health plans.

Consequently, Oklahoma has a higher percentage of uninsured citizens (16%) than ANY state except Texas and those 16% are among the unhealthiest citizens in Oklahoma, a state that is regarded by most to be between the 46th and 50th unhealthiest state in the country.

They are the Oklahomans who visit the emergency room because they have neither insurance nor the means to pay for care. By waiting until a minor illness becomes serious, sometimes life-threatening, the cost of treatment skyrockets.

Unfortunately, Oklahoma has refused to lift one finger to improve the situation. The Oklahoma legislature failed to enact a transitional reinsurance program to help keep insurance companies solvent when the claims of unhealthy Oklahomans become excessive. Oklahoma’s Insurance Commissioner refuses to review requested health insurance rate increases. Oklahoma’s governor refuses to do anything to help insure working Oklahomans who are not making enough money to purchase insurance and whose employers do not provide health insurance as a benefit.

So what are the answers? A legislator from Tennessee (which has also neglected the health of its citizens) says that those who cannot purchase insurance should “be like the Mennonites and pay their doctors with vegetables,” and a senate candidate from Nevada said that she was “not ready to back down” from a system where doctors are paid with chickens, because, “Doctors are very sympathetic people.”

Unhealthy, uninsured Oklahomans jeopardize the viability of health care for all of us. Certain politicians and media outlets repeatedly remind us about how bad the Affordable Care Act is and appear to gleefully report that it isn’t working, but they propose no solutions. Until they do, remind them that it would be helpful to work together in a bipartisan way to resolve this problem, because we all know that our uninsured, working poor are not going to get very far by offering a rutabaga in return for an appendectomy.

Questions and comments are welcome. or 405-557-7401.

The Fallacy of Logic

The Fallacy of Logic - March 29, 2015

State Representative David Perryman

The verdict is definitely in. Numbers do not lie. Accepting federal funds may cause diabetes according to the 23% increase in persons with diabetes in those states that have accepted federal health care dollars for employees living below or near the poverty level. We’ll discuss that logic below.

Meanwhile, with millions of working Americans unable to afford insurance, it has become apparent that the rising cost of health care had an alarmingly negative effect on the health of America’s poor. At the same time, hospitals across the country faced the real possibility of closing because they had to write off massive amounts of bad debt because so many people who they did treat were unable to pay.

Nowhere were those situations more drastic than the Sooner State where no one was eligible for Medicaid if they held a job. Any job. To address the situation, the federal government proposed that states could receive federal funds in return for tweaking their Medicaid eligibility requirements so that working men or women whose jobs do not provide health insurance could sign up for Medicaid, so long as they did not earn more than $16,244 per year.

Medicaid would be available for couples if their combined wages did not exceed $21,000 or if a couple had a child, $22,000.  The non-profit non-partisan Urban Institute says that there are about 149,000 working Oklahomans whose jobs do not provide insurance, but do not make enough money to purchase insurance. The proposal was that federal funds would pay 100 percent of the cost for the first three years and a minimum of 90 percent of the cost thereafter.

Over the past five years, 31 states have either changed their Medicaid rules or are in the process of changing their Medicaid rules so that these uninsured men and women who live in or very close to poverty would have health coverage. Oklahoma has refused to accept federal dollars for this program.

According to an editorial this week in the Journal Record, the effect on the business communities in those states that have accepted this money has been extremely positive. There have been significant drops in uninsured emergency room visits and uncompensated care has been reduced by $5 billion dollars.  That is $5 billion dollars more in their economies. Also, there has been a decrease in bad debt and a drop in the number of consumer bankruptcies is anticipated.

According to the Oklahoma Hospital Association, hospitals in our state provided more than $577 million in uncompensated care in 2013. About half of that amount or nearly $300 million is uncollectable “bad debt” causing medical costs to rise for everyone as these shortfalls are shifted to patients who pay out of pocket, insurance companies and self-insured businesses.

If Governor Fallin would sign on the 31 Republican and Democratic governors who have given the acceptance of federal funds a thorough and serious non-partisan look, she would see that allowing the working poor to be insured will provide the state with average annual net savings of $45 million over ten years simply by using federal funds to pay costs that are currently paid for with state dollars. $450 million is way too much money to leave on the table.

Those federal funds could be spent on medical care right here in Oklahoma and boost payrolls, replace some of the red ink on the balance sheets of community health centers and rural hospitals with black, provide a major economic boost in all sectors and help individual businesses have healthier employees.

Now getting back to that 23% increase in diabetics as reported by Quest Diagnostics. Thank goodness that those newly diagnosed diabetics live in states other than Oklahoma where they will now be receiving treatment and medicine so that they can enjoy healthier and longer lives.

Unfortunately, the 23% or more in Oklahoma will remain undiagnosed, untreated and unhealthy so long as our state follows its current course. The message Oklahoma’s working poor receive: “Get out of bed. Go to work. Being sick is no excuse. Besides, we don’t have enough doctors for you to see mine. In your next life, get a job that has insurance.”

Thank you for allowing me to serve as State Representative.  If you have questions or comments about this issue or any other matter, please contact me at or 800-522-8502.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The Gift that Keeps on Giving - March 15, 2015

State Representative David Perryman

Captured images and phrases often become iconic trademarks in industry and merchandising. One such image was that of Nipper the Dog sitting next to a Victrola listening to “His Master’s Voice.” Victor Talking Machine Company also originated and beginning in 1925 owned the rights to the phrase, “The Gift that Keeps on Giving,” for use in marketing its records and phonographs.

As Americans work toward the April 15 personal tax filing date, much effort is expended to capture deductions, tax credits and subsidies thereby decreasing personal income tax liability so that less money is sent to Uncle Sam. While the tax code is complex, those of us who own businesses or work for businesses that pay all or part of our health insurance premiums, are on the receiving end of a “Gift that Keeps on Giving.”

Unfortunately, Oklahoma refuses to establish an Oklahoma marketplace for private insurance companies to sell Affordable Health Care policies putting low-income working Oklahomans whose employers do not provide health insurance on the giving end of a gift that keeps on taking.

The plight of those low-income Oklahoma employees who have no work related health insurance is in the balance because Oklahoma’s Attorney General is seeking to prevent them from receiving the same federal tax credit those residents of states that did establish an insurance marketplace receive.

Since they are employed, they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and more than 126,000 of them responsibly signed up to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The average annual tax credit to defray the cost is $2472. However, the Attorney General wants to take away that tax credit as stated in oral arguments held last week before the Supreme Court.

Amazingly, while this red state is attempting to block a federal tax credit that averages $2500 per year to those working Oklahomans, other Oklahomans whose insurance is provided by their employers enjoy tax free health insurance benefits that often are as high as $12,000 or more, per year. 

For instance, when an employer provides an employee with health insurance, 100% of the cost paid by the employer is a tax free benefit AND a business expense write off to the employer. Couple that with the normal Section 125 Flexible Benefits Plan allowing thousands more dollars of tax-exempt income to be set aside to pay deductibles and co-pays, and a $206 health insurance tax credit given to the working poor to decrease their after-tax out of pocket expense for health insurance pales in comparison. 

Call it a deduction or a subsidy; it is tax free income that is truly a gift that keeps on giving.

The subsidy given to employees who have employer provided health care was $248 Billion in 2013, according to an article by Washington DC correspondent, Chris Casteel, in the March 2, 2015, edition of the Oklahoman. Casteel quoted the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, “the income exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance is the single largest tax expenditure in the individual income tax code,” and that does not even count the foregone employee tax on the benefit.

As Oklahoma’s low wage workers are signing up for Affordable Care Act policies in numbers that are greater than projected, Mike Rhodes, a deputy commissioner with the Oklahoma Insurance Department stated that, “The public is catching on; they understand the program.”  Unfortunately, if successful, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s lawsuit to unravel the Affordable Care Act will take the tax credits from those struggling Oklahomans who are least able to afford the loss, yet strive to be personally responsible for their health care.

All the while, those who receive tax free health insurance benefits through their jobs continue to receive the gift that keeps on giving.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as State Representative.  If you have questions or comments about this issue or any other matter, please contact me at or 800-522-8502.

Radio Free Oklahoma

Radio Free Oklahoma - February 8, 2015

State Representative David Perryman

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job is the opportunity to meet and speak with high school students at the Capitol and across the district. This week, I had the opportunity to address two groups of bright student-leaders from Oklahoma’s outstanding CareerTech system.

As we discussed current issues and Oklahoma government, I realized that none of those students were born until two years after the Oklahoma City Bombing and some of their teachers were not old enough to remember the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Then it hit me. I was the only person in the room who had lived during the Cold War era.

Those were the years that Radio Free Europe sent liberty broadcasts across the Iron Curtain into the USSR and Eastern European bloc countries that were isolated from the world by the socio-political and economic lockdown of the Soviet Union.  The broadcasts were intended to counter internal soviet propaganda and misinformation and are credited with inspiring young men and women like Lech Walesa to have the courage to eventually stand against repressive regimes.

The message of free democratic republics got through despite the fact that in the late 1950’s, the KGB spent more money attempting to jam those radio transmissions than the Soviets spent on all domestic and international broadcasting combined. In other words, the Cold War Soviets were more concerned with jamming information from outside the country than they were in addressing internal issues and making positive improvements for their own people.

In eerily similar fashion, the reds of this red state appear to be comfortable ignoring the fact that the United Health Foundation says Oklahoma ranks 43rd in the nation in overall health, 49th in senior health and nearly last in all access to health care.

This week Governor Fallin said that there is no “appetite” in Oklahoma to accept federal dollars to provide Medicaid to working Oklahomans who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level. The “deficient” appetite is the direct result of misinformation disseminated by the governor, the lapdog journalism of the state’s two largest newspapers and television media outlets that refuse to report that physicians, hospitals and health care systems in those states that have accepted federal dollars are delivering quality medical care to more people, being paid for that medical care and are not at risk of closing their doors or laying off employees.

Oklahoma hospitals on the other hand are at risk of closing. Doctors and hospitals risk being paid less and co-pays out of the pockets of our senior citizens and Medicaid recipients risk being increased, all as a result of the budget shortfalls that occur as a result of Oklahoma not accepting those federal funds.

Keeping rural hospitals open and keeping low wage Oklahomans healthy is an economic issue. Just one primary care physician in a rural community creates about 23 jobs annually, generates $1 million in wages, salaries and benefits and produces $1.8 million in revenue each year according to the National Center for Rural Health Works.  Think of the economic impact of a clinic or an entire hospital.

Acceptance of those same federal funds would also improve the health and reduce absenteeism among those low wage employees whose employers say that they cannot afford to pay for their employees’ health insurance.

How self-centered have we become as a state when we tell working Oklahomans that even though their job does not carry health insurance and their salary is not sufficient to purchase health insurance, we are going to refuse to accept federal dollars designed to keep them healthy?

Oklahoma’s health could be better. Instead, we jam the airwaves.  

Thank you for allowing me to serve as State Representative.  If you have questions or comments about this issue or any other matter, please contact me at or 800-522-8502.

Its 10 PM, Do You Know Where Your Oxen Are?

Its 10 PM, Do You Know Where Your Oxen Are? For the Common Good - November 30, 2014

State Representative David Perryman

In the Book of Exodus, Chapter 21, Verse 35, Hebrew law provides the remedy when neighbors’ oxen fight to the death of one. The neighbors equally share in the sales price of the surviving ox and divide the meat of the dead one. Conventional wisdom is that “whose ox is being gored” determines whether that Mosaic ordinance is fair and equitable.

This axiom often clouds logic and reasoning of persons with vested interests as shown by recent state and federal issues. Consequently, in press releases, during press conferences and while simply “howling at the moon” phrases such as “legislative intent” and “rule of law” have been tossed about.

Three dissimilar current issues illustrate what is often referred to as “situational ethics.” Situational ethics is the antithesis of the rule of law and is based on two fundamental concepts.  First, there is no right or wrong and second, the end always justifies the means.

Current Event A. In an attempt to inflict a fatal blow to the Affordable Care Act, Oklahoma’s Executive Branch is currently arguing that the plain language of the statute prohibits low income Oklahomans from receiving a federal credit to defray part of the premium cost of health insurance. 

According to the state’s highest prosecutor, the Court’s analysis of legislative intent has no place in its endeavor to determine whether working Oklahomans would be entitled to a tax break when purchasing health insurance from a federal exchange since Oklahoma refused to establish a state exchange. 

Current Event B. In the midst of a constitutional challenge to a statute that makes multiple cuts to Oklahoma’s highest Income Tax brackets, a group of lawmakers said that it should not matter that it is a revenue bill that did not originate in the House of Representatives and it should not matter that it was not approved by a three-quarters majority in both chambers.

The group argues that regardless of the language of the Oklahoma Constitution, the “intent of the people” was not to restrict THIS type of revenue bill even though during floor debate some of these individuals detailed how this bill will actually RAISE revenue by decreasing the tax rate for those who pay the highest rate. In fact, the very language of the Bill provided that an INCREASE in revenue was the trigger for a future DECREASE in the tax rate for subsequent years.

Current Event C. Oklahoma’s executive branch disregards the existence of an Oklahoma statute requiring a new candidate to be named when a congressional candidate dies prior to an election because, in his opinion, a federal statute, Title 2 USC, Section 7 pre-empts it despite the clear exception contained in Title 2, USC Section 8 that authorizes a special election.

Such a result ignores the clear language of Oklahoma law AND misconstrues the intent of the federal statute thereby grasping at thin air to arrive at a convenient conclusion. To add to that opinion, others believe that “a special election would be expensive” and “the incumbent would probably win anyway.”

On second thought why hold any election… ever… particularly when we all suspect what the outcome will be. In other words, it all depends on whose ox is being gored. Do you know where your oxen are?

Thank you for allowing me to serve as State Representative.  If you have questions or comments about this issue or any other matter, please contact me at or 405-557-7401.

Taking the Helm

Taking the Helm for the Common Good - November 9, 2014

State Representative David Perryman

Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen is quoted as saying, “Community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.”

In the throes of the dust bowl and the depression of the 1930’s, the Oklahoma Legislature became aware that a provision in the federal law resulted in Oklahoma’s citizens facing a higher tax burden than the citizens of community property states such as Texas, Arizona and California.  Because Oklahoma was not a community property state, Oklahomans were actually being penalized.

In response to this inequity, the Oklahoma legislature crafted, approved and sent to the governor’s desk legislation that allowed Oklahomans to compute their federal taxes like the residents of community property states. Governor Kerr wasted no time signing the bill that kept millions of dollars in Oklahoma to be spent by Oklahomans.

In an ideal world, the Oklahoma legislature and all of Oklahoma’s elected officials, “at the helm” should strive to do what is in the best interest of Oklahomans. However, instead of pursuing a policy that would allow Oklahomans to be eligible for the same tax breaks that residents of other states have, the State of Oklahoma has filed a lawsuit asking the federal court to penalize OUR residents and make Oklahomans ineligible for that credit on their taxes. 

For example, let’s say Congress decided that it would incentivize a new type of electric vehicle. The federal government’s program is set up so that these new electric vehicles may be purchased in each state and the purchaser will be entitled to a federal tax credit.

However, let’s say the Oklahoma governor for whatever reason decides to prohibit the sale of these new electric vehicles in Oklahoma. So when an Oklahoma resident who is unable to purchase this new technology in Oklahoma, finds an electric vehicle for sale outside the state of Oklahoma one would assume that they could still receive the federal tax credit.

“No,” according to the Oklahoma Attorney General.

Since the Oklahoma Governor has chosen not to allow Oklahoma residents to purchase private health insurance through a state approved program, many lower income residents have purchased their health insurance through a federal program.

Incredibly, the purpose of State of Oklahoma v. Burwell, Case CV-11-30 filed in the Federal Court in Muskogee, by Oklahoma’s own Attorney General using Oklahoma tax dollars, is to prohibit those low income Oklahomans from receiving the federal tax credit that is available to residents of the states that cooperated with the federal government by allowing low income families to purchase health insurance.

Thousands of working Oklahomans are trying to do the responsible thing and purchase health insurance but stand to be unable to do so if the U.S. Supreme Court does what Oklahoma’s Attorney General wants it to do and disallow their federal tax credits.

In the 1940’s, wealthy Oklahomans were allegedly moving to community property states because of federal tax inequality.  Oklahoma’s elected officials acted and stemmed that tide.

Oklahoma should be doing all it can to keep working Oklahomans in our state, otherwise, they may be forced to move to those states where tax credits will make their health insurance affordable.

Ibsen’s quote contemplated the protection of the community. He never envisioned the person at the helm would want to steer the ship directly toward the falls.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as State Representative.  If you have questions or comments about this issue or any other matter, please contact me at or 405-557-7401.