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Chicken-Fried News: Healthy thirst

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Gesondheid! Fisehatak! Teie terviseks!

Toasts from around the world (like the Afrikaans, Arabic and Estonian ones above) are focused on health, which is why we’re raising a glass to freshman State Rep. Forrest Bennett, D-Oklahoma City. The newly elected lawmaker filed House Bill 1260 on Jan. 18 to divert some of the alcohol sales tax revenue to spend on health care.

According to the bill, 95 percent of the mixed beverage tax would still go to the state’s general fund, but 5 percent would go to the Uncompensated Care Fund, which would pay for medical services for uninsured and underinsured Oklahomans.

This could prove useful if President Donald Trump follows through on his stated plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Since the ACA, or Obamacare, was enacted in 2010, Oklahoma’s uninsured rate fell by 26 percent. That’s almost 200,000 Oklahomans who gained medical coverage under the plan, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Anyone who would like to buy Bennett a drink can find him giving the Midnight Toast on Feb. 3 at Ludivine, 805 N. Hudson Ave.

There’s still a long way to go before the bill is passed, but if it is, it’ll make “to your health” more than just a saying in Oklahoma.

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