Oregonians for Health Security
March 15, 2004
Sarah Hobbs is one of the 85,000 Oregonians who face losing their health care coverage this summer if nothing is done to protect the Oregon Health Plan Standard population. Sarah has fibromyalgia and a rare tremor disorder, "I am too sick to work, but not sick enough to qualify for Social Security- Disability," explains Sarah.
Sarah relies on many prescriptions to deal with her condition and ease her pain. She says even under OHP she cannot get adequate pain relief, "I resolved myself to the fact that I am just going to ache, it's ok."
In January, Sarah had to switch managed care plans. She went without her prescriptions for 10 days before ending up in the hospital. Sarah says she tried rationing her medication before she went without. The experience adds to Sarah's fear about what will happen in August if she is forced to go without prescriptions or other health care services.
Sarah will not be the only OHP-Standard patient to end up in a hospital emergency room if health care services are removed. The effect on our health care system will be dramatic, but there is some hope. Due to lower case loads within programs in the Department of Human Services funds are available to stave off some of the health care cuts. The Legislature's emergency board will meet April 8-9 to discuss moving these funds. They need public pressure to make the necessary changes to preserve the services to the OHP-Plus population with existing state resources. If that is done, additional resources can be used to protect OHP-Standard clients, like Sarah, from a complete loss of health care services. Contact your legislator and ask them to find funding for OHP in April.