What We Need to Know About Measure 101

by Tom Sincic, HCAO President

We all have the opportunity to vote YES on Measure 101 this January. Here are four things you need to know today about Measure 101!

  • HCAO has joined over 100 groups in endorsing Measure 101. This coalition includes doctors, nurses, health care advocates, hospitals and local businesses, and everyday people like YOU!
  • 1 million Oregonians (that’s one in four Oregonians!) depend on the Oregon Health Plan. Measure 101 guarantees that our friends and neighbors who rely on OHP won’t lose their coverage.
  • 400,000 Oregon children rely on the Oregon Health Plan to grow up healthy. With Measure 101, families don’t have to worry that their children could lose their coverage.
  • Measure 101 stabilizes insurance marketplaces and premiums. It will save middle-class families who buy their own insurance an average of $300 a month in insurance premiums!

You and I both know how much health care matters. This is why as we join together to say Yes to Measure 101, HCAO will be in a much better position to take the next steps in getting Single Payer passed in Oregon.

I hope, as an HCAO supporter, you will remember to cast your vote as YES on Measure 101 for health care this January. Every Oregonian deserves health care, no matter who they are or where they work,

If you have not already, please take a second to follow both HCAO and YesforHealthcare on Facebook so you can keep up-to-date with the fight for accessible care. Learn more about Measure 101 here.

In addition, please share on your own FB page.

YES on Ballot Measure 101 is endorsed and supported by:

AARP Oregon
AAUP Oregon
AFT-Oregon
AllCare Health
Alliance4Kids
Alzheimer’s Association of Oregon
American Association of University Women
American College of Physicians Oregon Chapter
Asante
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
Basic Rights Oregon
Bridges to Change
CareOregon
Cascade Health Alliance
CCO Oregon
Central City Concern
Children First for Oregon
Children’s Institute
Coalition for a Healthy Oregon (COHO)
Coalition of Community Health Clinics
Columbia Pacific CCO
De Paul Treatment Centers
Disability Rights Oregon
Douglas County Independent Physician Association
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
Euvalcree
Fair Shot for All Oregon
Family Forward Oregon
Family Nurturing Center
Forward Together
Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation
Health Care for All Oregon
Health Share of Oregon
Housing Alliance
Human Services Coalition of Oregon
IATSE Local 488 Studio Mechanics of the Pacific Northwest
IBEW Local 48
Independent Living Resources
Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice
Jackson Care Connect CCO
Jefferson Regional Health Alliance
Jobs with Justice
Kaiser Permanente
La Clinica
Latino Network
League of Women Voters – Oregon
Legacy Health
Main Street Alliance of Oregon
Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates
NAACP Portland Branch
NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon
National Association of Social Workers – Oregon
National Organization for Women – Oregon Chapter
Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)
Neighborhood Partnerships
Northwest Housing Alternatives
Nurses for Single Payer
NW Oregon Labor Council
One Community Health
Oregon AFL-CIO
Oregon AFSCME
Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems
Oregon Center for Christian Voices
Oregon Center for Public Policy
Oregon Community Health Workers Association (ORCHWA)
Oregon Consumer League
Oregon Dental Association
Oregon Education Association
Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals
Oregon Head Start Association
Oregon Health Care Association
Oregon Health Equity Alliance
Oregon Latino Health Coalition
Oregon Medical Association
Oregon Nurses Association
Oregon Patients Rights Association
Oregon Pediatric Society
Oregon Primary Care Association
Oregon School-Based Health Alliance
Oregon School Boards Association
Oregon School Employees Association
Oregon Society of Anesthesiologists
Oregon State Council of Retired Citizens
Oregon-PTA
Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of Oregon (OPSO)
Our Health Oregon
Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters
Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon
Partnership for Safety and Justice
PCUN – Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste
PeaceHealth
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon
PrimaryHealth of Josephine County
Project Access NOW
Providence Health & Services
Rural Health Association
Rural Oregon Progressives
Rural Organizing Project
Samaritan Health Services
SEIU Local 49
SEIU Local 503
St. Charles Health System
Trillium Community Health Plans
Tuality Health
UFCW Local 555
Umpqua Health Alliance

Doctors group: House GOP health plan is re-branded and far meaner version of ACA

 

From www.pnhp.org/news                 March 8, 2017

The 'American Health Care Act' perpetuates the basic structure of the Affordable Care Act, including the subsidization of the private health insurance industry, while cutting benefits to the poor and middle class, and giving hundreds of billions in tax breaks to the rich,

Physicians for a National Health Program decries the recently released Republican Obamacare replacement bill, the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA). That plan would constitute a major backward step in health policy, compounding the problems of uninsurance and underinsurance while handing over hundreds of billions of dollars to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.

Proposed as a replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the AHCA would maintain its basic structure. The bill would: 

•        Continue to channel billions of taxpayer dollars through wasteful private insurers;

•         Sharply reduce the ACA’s subsidies (or “tax credits”) available to lower-income persons, particularly older adults, to purchase coverage;

•         End the ACA’s cost-sharing subsidies for copayments and deductibles, increasing the cost of care for those with chronic medical conditions; 

•         Replace the ACA’s “individual mandate” penalty on the uninsured with a 30 percent surcharge on insurance premiums for those who experienced a lapse in insurance coverage;

•         Slash federal funding for the Medicaid expansion beginning in 2020, and move towards a “per capita” cap on Medicaid spending that would squeeze state Medicaid budgets and push millions of enrollees out of the program;

•         Increase the tax-favored status of Health Savings Accounts, which mostly benefit people in high income brackets;

•         Reduce taxes on pharmaceutical, medical device and health insurance companies;

•         Offer tax reductions totaling $274.6 billion over 10 years to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.

These and other provisions would take the nation in the wrong direction. Even with the ACA in place, 29 million remained uninsured in 2015; the ACHA would only push that number higher. And today, even many Americans with coverage face bankrupting medical bills for copayments, deductibles and uncovered services. By lowering the standards of private insurance plans and ending cost sharing subsidies, the ACHA would only intensify the problem of “underinsurance.”

The ACHA would replace the ACA with a worse, more regressive version of the original bill. This is not what Americans want or need. PNHP instead urges Congress to replace the ACA with a single-payer national health care program. Unlike the ACA or the ACHA, single-payer, Medicare for All reform could effectively control costs while creating a right to high-quality healthcare for everyone in America.

 

Five Health Care Buzz Phrases

Adapted from Julie Chinitz

When you are at an event or meeting with your member of Congress, protect yourself against the misinformation with this decoder for Republican policy buzz phrases.

1. “Block grant for Medicaid”
What it is: Waiting lists and stripped-down coverage. 
Right now anyone who is eligible for Medicaid anywhere in the country can enroll and get care. Turning that program into a fixed block grant that states are left to manage ends that guarantee. There will be cuts of $1 trillion to a program covering almost one quarter of the country. The result: anything from waiting lists to stripped-down coverage. Less care for everyone from children to nursing home residents. 

2. “Health savings accounts”
What it is: High deductibles for us; tax shelters for the rich. 
This favorite conservative trope — that struggling families should somehow squirrel away enough money to deal with health care expenses — really means a tax shelter for the rich and a rip-off for everyone else. These accounts are tied to high-deductible insurance plans with minimum deductibles of $2,600 for family coverage. Deductibles could be as high as $10,000 or even $20,000. They are a big source of profit for insurance corporations. Even people enrolled in them don’t recommend them.

 3. “High-risk pools”
What it is: Premiums above $1,000 a month. 
High-risk pools are segregated insurance for people with preexisting conditions. They’ve been tried in 35 states and have failed. Premiums in these pools run upwards of $1,000 a month. There’s been a history of premiums hitting $20,000 a year or more, and deductibles have been as high as to $25,000. And imagine needing medical treatments costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, while stuck with a high-risk policy with a lifetime cap as low as $75,000.

 4. “Per-capita caps for Medicaid”
What it is: Arbitrary limits on your health care. 
This is the sibling of the Medicaid block grant. What it means is politicians impose an arbitrary limit on your health care. It means no more guarantee that Medicaid will pay for as much covered care as you need. It could mean high deductibles, high premiums, elimination of benefits like prescription drugs or maternity care, and more.

 5. “Medicare privatization” or “premium support”
What it is: Throwing seniors to insurance corporations. 
A key goal of House Speaker Paul Ryan and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, the man picked by Donald Trump to oversee health policy, this would turn the popular Medicare program over to insurance corporations. Instead of guaranteed coverage, you will get a voucher you would use to shop for private insurance. There is no guarantee the voucher would be enough for the same level coverage — or any coverage at all. The bottom line: worse coverage at a higher price. And this from the same people who want to reduce regulations on insurance companies as seniors are being placed at their mercy.

Slippery Language and Broken Promises
As a candidate, President Donald Trump insisted he’d allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. But he recently turned his back on that promise after meeting with drug corporation lobbyists. His new Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, is a drug corporation insider, so the backtracking is no surprise.

 

Now is The Time Film Tour Proposes a Timely Replacement for Obamacare

From the Lund Report,

When former Oregon-resident filmmakers Laurie Simons and Terry Sterrenberg began shooting Now is the Time- Healthcare for Everybody, they had no idea the U.S. healthcare system was about to be thrown into disarray by the new administration’s effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, potentially causing millions of Americans to lose their healthcare access. But the threat of impending major changes to the healthcare system makes their film even more timely.

Now is the time.png

Playing in a premiere Oregon tour February 18-23, Now is the Time- Healthcare for Everybody captures the drama of the growing nationwide movement to achieve the type of universal, publicly funded healthcare enjoyed by all the other advanced industrialized nations in the world. The film features interviews of national figures in the movement including Representative John Conyers of Michigan, author of HR 676, the Improved Medicare for All Act; Margaret Flowers, a physician activist who was arrested lobbying for universal health care at the Obamacare hearings; Deb Richter, a leader in Vermont’s effort to pass single-payer legislation; and Gerald Friedman, University of Massachusetts Amherst economist and author of state and national studies on financing universal health care. It explores the spectrum and recent history of the movement to provide health care for everyone.

But for Laurie and Terry, the film is also a personal journey. Facing the expense, complexity and frustrations of the U.S. healthcare system after having lived in Canada under its universal and comprehensive system (Laurie is Canadian, Terry from the US), they share details of Laurie’s bout with cancer treatment and Terry’s encounter with high emergency room expenses. The film is much more personal than their first filmThe Healthcare Movie, narrated by Kiefer Sutherland, which explored the 100-year history of advocacy for national healthcare in America. It also includes updates on many of the more than 25 state campaigns for single payer, including Oregon’s.

The goal for Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates is to establish a publicly funded, sustainable health care system for all people in Oregon and in the U.S.  An affiliate member of Health Care for All - Oregon, MVHCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Based in Corvallis, MVHCA currently represents more than 2000 advocates in the mid-valley.

Feb 8 2017

Care for the Vulnerable vs. Cash for the Powerful -- Trump's Pick for HHS

From the New England Journal of Medicine Sherry A. Glied, Ph.D., and Richard G. Frank, Ph.D.
Representative Tom Price of Georgia, an orthopedic surgeon, will be President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of health and human services (HHS). In the 63-year history of the HHS Department and its predecessor, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, only two previous secretaries have been physicians.

Tom Price represents a different tradition. Ostensibly, he emphasizes the importance of making our health care system “more responsive and affordable to meet the needs of America’s patients and those who care for them.”4 But as compared with his predecessors’ actions, Price’s record demonstrates less concern for the sick, the poor, and the health of the public and much greater concern for the economic well-being of their physician caregivers.

Price has sponsored legislation that supports making armor-piercing bullets more accessible and opposing regulations on cigars, and he has voted against regulating tobacco as a drug. His voting record shows long-standing opposition to policies aimed at improving access to care for the most vulnerable Americans.