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Oregonians for Health Security's weekly newsletter

The Weekly Monitor, Oregonians for Health Security's weekly newsletter of health care happenings for the week of August 2, 2004.
----- Original Message -----
From: Oregonians for Health Security
Sent: Monday, August 02, 2004 10:26 AM
Subject: Monitor, August 2, 2004

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August 2, 2004 Volume 6, Issue 17


WEEKLY MONITOR

Profile of Health Care at the Democratic National Convention
"...when I'm President, America will stop being the only advanced nation in the world which fails to understand that health care is not a privilege for the wealthy, the connected, and the elected - it is a right for all Americans."
- Senator John Kerry, during acceptance speech July 29, 2004.


Health care was one of the central issues during the Democratic National Convention last week. In their acceptance speeches both Senators John Kerry and John Edwards spoke of the health care crisis and what would be done. Kerry chided the recently passed Medicare prescription bill for its lack of negotiating power and said he believes seniors should not have to split pills.
During the Thursday night coverage, satellite feeds from across the country raised important issues. In Portland, a group of health care workers joined in to express their concern about the rising cost of health care. Dana Welty a neonatal nurse at OHSU spoke via satellite to the delegates. She shared her concern about the high cost of health care and increasing number of uninsured Oregonians.
One special event in Boston Thursday brought delegates from all walks of life together to learn about America's health care crisis and proposed solutions. "Health Issues 2004" was sponsored by Families USA and Americans for Health Care. The forum focused on Medicare changes and prescription drug costs; the growing number of uninsured Americans; and rising, and increasingly unaffordable, health care costs. The health care stories of Oregonians Karen Thompson and Taneisha White were shared to put a human face on this issue. As the election moves forward, it is important we keep asking candidates from the President to our state legislature what they will do to reduce cost and increase access to health care.


Weekly Dose

An average of 195,000 patients die annually from preventable hospital errors. -- HealthGrades July 27, 2004


DHS Seeks Comment on Proposed Budget for 2005-07

The Department of Human Services is seeking public comment on their preliminary budget for 2005-07. Through a series of public meetings and online comments via the website, the department hopes to work with the public to finalize it's proposal before sending the recommended budget to the Governor's office. The preliminary budget includes a base budget for the costs of rolling up current programs. It also includes a variety of packages to add if funding is available. By state statute, the Department must also submit a list of reductions equaling 10% of their budget, twice, for a total reduction list of 20%.
Among the items for addition include continuing OHP-Standard for 24,000 Oregonians using the provider taxes, expanding outreach to enroll more eligible children in health care programs and increasing the income restriction for children from 185% of the federal poverty level to 200%. Through increased outreach and expansion DHS has set a goal of having 89% of children insured.
The reduction list includes many of the items not cut after Measure 30 such as vision, dental and therapy programs for OHP Plus and health care services for some seniors and disabled individuals.
To view the budget additions and reductions in detail go to the DHS website at  http://www.dhs.state.or.us.

Thank you,

Oregonians for Health Security

9813 SE Hwy 212 Clackamas, OR 97015 (503) 655-2793 (503) 655-2879  http://www.oregoniansforhealthsecurity.org

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