EDITOR’S NOTE: This letter is published as received in response to a column written by Steve Fair, Chairman of the 4th District Republican Party. Mr. Fair’s column, titled, “SQ802 is bad for Oklahoma,” appeared in the Tuesday, June 16 edition of The Ada News.

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An open letter to Steve Fair, Chairman of the 4th District Republican Party

Dear Mr. Fair,

I do not know which 4th District town you live in, but after reading your letter I gather you still have a hospital. I live in Pauls Valley. We lost our hospital almost two years ago. Wilburton lost theirs right about the same time, then Prague and Stigler followed suit. The last best count I’ve heard is that eight rural communities in Oklahoma have lost their hospitals.

Perhaps you’re one of the very few people in the state who hasn’t heard about the 94-year-old lady, a long-time resident of Pauls Valley, who called her daughter to take her to the hospital. She was having chest pains. They arrived at the emergency room just after the last person out had turned out the lights and locked the doors. Her daughter raced her to the hospital in Purcell, where she died in the hospital parking lot.

In the last sentence of your letter addressing your concerns on State Question 802 you wrote, “Oklahoma taxpayers simply can’t afford it.” That’s like me telling my 96-year-old mother, “Mom, I simply can’t afford you.” I assure you, I would find some way to “afford” her.

Now, as far as our state constitution is concerned, the House, Senate and Governor’s office are all controlled by the Republicans. If they had addressed this matter instead of focusing on other issues, such as school vouchers and having guns in schools, we wouldn’t be having to put healthcare in our constitution. They haven’t addressed this issue, therefore the people are having to bypass them.

Television commercials for State Question 802 state that for every dollar Oklahomans spend for healthcare the federal government will reimburse us nine dollars. I like those odds.

You stated, “Oklahoma taxpayers simply can’t afford it.”

Oklahoma taxpayers simply can’t afford not to pay for it.

Steve Jarman, Pauls Valley

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