Health care costs keep Oregon ex-pats in Canada

MVHCA, PNHP, and Mad As Hell Doctor member Mike Huntington wrote a great letter to the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

March 24, 2015 9:00 am

I spoke with my cousin Debbie at a recent family gathering. She and her husband grew up in the United States and then, long ago, moved to Canada for work. Both have dual citizenship. They love and miss Oregon. For years they have hoped to return permanently to Coos County.

But they don’t dare.

So long as they stay in Canada they have affordable tax-based healthcare insurance, Canadian Medicare, giving them access to good care that is free of US-style financial torment.

But if they come home to Oregon they have only unaffordable and troublesome options. They would have to pay $1,000 to $2,000 a month for a high deductible policy that provides no guaranteed access to care or protection from financial ruin.

They know that healthcare fees are the greatest cause of financial indebtedness in the United States and most families facing medical bankruptcy did indeed have insurance at the time they became ill or injured.

Debbie clings to hope. She knows that Oregon has a vibrant grassroots movement for legislation that will guarantee access to healthcare for all Oregonians without financial ruin or needless delay.

My cousin has a homesickness we can cure. She can return to Oregon without fear if we create a better and less expensive healthcare system that is based on need instead of the market.

Please tell your legislators it’s time to get well beyond the mixed benefits of Obamacare and Oregon’s Coordinated Care Organizations — with Health Care for All Oregon, mvhca.org.

Michael Huntington MD

Corvallis

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