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Measure 23 needs your help

Measure 23, the universal health care initiative that will be on the ballot in November, is sponsored by Health Care For All - Oregon. We need volunteers. The Portland chapter of HCAO has an email list you can subscribe to which will keep you informed about campaign activities. To subscribe, send an email to:
A summary of the initiative is on our website. The initiative will set up a state-run medical insurance program that will cover all Oregon residents. Medical insurance will be disconnected from employment, so you will not lose your insurance when you get laid off. The program will have a dedicated fund, separate from the rest of the state budget, so the state legislature cannot move medical insurance funds to other programs. Because it has a separate fund, this program will have no impact on the state budget.

The program will cover "medically necessary health services," as determined by your doctor, including mental illness treatment, prescription drugs, dental, long-term care, and alternative medical treatments by licensed providers.

There will be 3 sources of funding:

1. Tax money now going into government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
2. A progressive personal income tax of 0-8 percent of TAXABLE income. "Progressive" means that the amount of tax you pay will be based on the amount of your taxable income -- like present state and federal income taxes. People making 150 percent or less of the federal poverty level will not pay this tax.
3. A progressive tax on employer's payroll of 3-11.5 percent.

There will be no deductibles, copayments or other charges. Your only cost will be the tax you pay.

A board, two-thirds elected, one-third appointed by the governor, will run the program.

Why will this work? Because we are eliminating the middleman -- the insurance companies. Their high overhead costs of 15-30 percent, as compared to Medicare's 3 percent, are part of what is keeping medical insurance costs so high. Our present system is needlessly complicated, fragmented and disorganized, with a lot of waste. By simplifying the system and reducing overhead, we can afford to cover everyone.

HCAO Portland has classes and speakers available to explain the initiative. We need people to sponsor home meetings on the initiative, pass out our literature at public events, do phone banking and canvassing, etc. Please subscribe to our email list for more information.

homepage: homepage: http://www.hcao.org

Other reasons it will work.... 30.Aug.2002 18:21


People will not have to wait until they are really sick to show up in an emergency room to ask for help. This practice is overwhelming the healthcare systems and people are dying for lack of care.

We can see alternative health care providers who stress prevention instead of drugs...like Naturopaths, accupuncturists, and other people who believe in whole body care.

Seniors in our state will not have choose between drugs and food to survive.

This program covers, eyecare, dentists, women's health, hearing aids, long-term care. Gee looks like it covers REAL HEALTHCARE.

Also, these people in their orange shirts are everywhere and they won't give up.

I am going to contact them to help! This is another example of why Oregon is so progressive and we aren't afraid of doing the right thing.

Parasites! 30.Aug.2002 20:02

David B. davidb@scn.org

The private health insurance industry is a bunch of parasites.

A strong statement, but it fits. Just like parasites sap the strength of their host and give nothing in return, the insurance industry saps gobs of money out of the health care industry. It's so bad that the US spends MORE per capita than any other industrialized nation on health care yet covers LESS of its population than any other nation. And basic health statistics for the US (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc.) are WORSE than those nations that spend less than us.

And just like literal parasites kill some of their host's cells, these social parasites kill people by denying them needed health care. And they'll be spending gobs of people's premium money (money that won't be spent on health care) ensuring that their right to kill for money is preserved, you can be sure of that.

Portland, OR