We believe that all Oregonians should be able to access care that they can afford. No child should get sick because their family can’t afford the medicine that they need, and nobody should end up in an emergency because a doctor’s appointment was too expensive.
Oregonians deserve better.
Measure 101 secures billions in federal funding to protect care for 350,000 Oregonians and reduce premiums for another 200,000. With it, we can make sure that 95 percent of Oregonians and all children have the healthcare coverage that they need.
Pledge to vote yes on Measure 101 in January to keep Oregon healthy.
When the Senate failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week, millions of Americans breathed a sigh of relief. But here in Oregon, the threat is far from over: Rep. Julie Parrish and local Republicans are attempting to rollback the Oregon Healthcare Protections Bill, which safeguards coverage for 350,000 low-income Oregonians and reduces premiums for another 220,000.
We knew Parrish’s Referendum 301 was bad, but a Portland Business Journal story just showed that it’s even worse than we feared. Not only would the referendum eliminate more than $300 million in state funding, but billions in matching federal dollars that Oregon uses to cover its Medicaid population would also disappear.
Just how much are we talking about? According to the Portland Business Journal story, anywhere from $1 billion to $5 billion.
The referendum to repeal new health provider taxes— should it both go on the ballot and pass — could have a bigger impact on the Oregon Health Plan than first meets the eye.
While just cutting the taxes would reduce state revenue by $333 million, the total loss could be anywhere from $1.3 billion to $5.2 billion because of the elimination of federal matching funds, according to various estimates.
With billions in healthcare funding on the line, it’s clear that Referendum 301 would devastate Oregon families. But it doesn’t have to be that way: If Republicans drop this attack, Oregon can continue leading the way on healthcare.
Just this week, the Huffington Post took note of the smart healthcare policies the legislature passed this session: expanding reproductive care coverage, ensuring all children have healthcare access, and protecting Medicaid for hundreds of thousands of families.
The state’s lawmakers there just wrapped up their legislative session and passed health care laws that fly in the face of what is happening in the nation’s capital. While Congress was threatening people’s health care, Oregon passed a law that gives coverage to just about everyone, regardless of income level, citizenship status, gender identity or type of insurance.
The local GOP has a choice: Oregon can either make headlines for taking healthcare away from hundreds of thousands, or for improving healthcare access and protecting families. The choice is clear.
Over the past two weeks, hundreds of Oregonians have flocked to town halls from Medford to Hood River to speak out against healthcare rollbacks. It’s a scene that’s played out across the country over the past few months as the national GOP has fought to repeal the Affordable Care Act — but in Oregon, constituents weren’t there to talk just about the national threats to healthcare. They were also there to ask state legislators to defend care right here in Oregon.
Last month, Governor Kate Brown signed the Oregon Healthcare Protections Bill (HB 2391) into law. It was a groundbreaking achievement: At a time when healthcare access faces an uncertain future nationally, the law protects care for 375,000 Oregonians and lowers premiums for 220,000 more. But it’s already under attack: The Oregon GOP, led by political consultant and state Rep. Julie Parrish, is trying to rollback key pieces of this historic protections bill.
Just like national Republicans, Parrish and the Oregon GOP don’t have a viable plan for what happens if their repeal goes through — they’d be leaving hundreds of thousands of Oregonians without care, increasing medical costs on even more, and making healthcare less accessible in rural parts of the state. That would be a disaster for our state for generations to come.
Oregonians won’t stand for this attack. Last night, more than 60 constituents packed a room in West Linn, in Rep. Parrish’s district, to share what the Oregon GOP’s rollbacks would mean to them. For thousands of Oregon families, rolling back our progress on healthcare is a life-or-death issue. By making healthcare a luxury that only the wealthy can afford, everyday Oregonians will be forced to choose between financial disaster and going without the care they need. Nobody should face such a decision.
That sentiment was echoed across the state: Altogether, more than 300 Oregonians turned out to healthcare town halls in Hood River, Bend, Medford, Talent, and West Linn, and in each community they had stories to share about what’s at stake if the GOP succeeds. It’s up to us to stop these devastating rollbacks here in Oregon. We did it in D.C. when we stopped the ACA repeal, and we can do it again.