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Group wants cigarette tax increase, Medicaid changes

Updated:

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- A report by an Oklahoma group says the state should increase the tax on cigarettes by a $1-per-pack, make changes in Medicaid and issue ``health report cards'' for cities.

The Oklahoma Academy says health problems of children come from use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, teen pregnancy, poor nutrition and a lack of physical activity. The organization wants a tax increase on cigarettes and all indoor job sites an public places to be smoke-free.

The group also says Medicaid should be changed from what it calls a ``welfare'' model to an ``insurance'' model. The plan would include a co-payment for medical services by low-income or unemployed recipients.

Health report cards for cities would include rating cities on water purity, smoking restrictions, vaccinations of children and the number of doctors and nurses.
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