Finally, our state cannot be successful if we remain in poor health. Sadly, Oklahoma ranks near the bottom in most major measures of health, from obesity to heart disease and diabetes. The cost in lives and in dollars, along with the loss of worker productivity, is too great for the state to stay our current course.
That’s why I’m working with legislators to pursue local, state-based solutions – not one-size-fits-all federal interventions like Obamacare – that lower the cost of health insurance by increasing choice and market-based competition while lowering legal expenses. We’ll also encourage schools, businesses and local neighborhoods to voluntarily offer health living incentives that will put us on a path toward greater health and prosperity.
We face some tough challenges ahead of us, but we have emerged before from tough times in the past and become a stronger and more resilient state. I am optimistic that if we all work together – my administration, lawmakers, businesses and families – we can emerge from this recession as a stronger, healthier and more prosperous Oklahoma.