Profile of 2005 Legislative Session:
The 2005 Oregon Legislature begins work this morning. Already, health care looms as a dominate issue. In Sunday's Salem Statesman Journal, Senate President Peter Courtney said the session will be about health care, even more than the state budget.
Courtney identified health care issues including cuts to the Oregon Health Plan and restructuring of the Oregon State Hospital as important to the session. As one of the longest serving members of the legislature and it's presiding officer, Courtney's assessment carries a lot of weight. Senator Courtney placed himself on the Senate Health Policy committee to be sure the issue receive proper attention.
Oregonians for Health Security and our allies have been working with Senator Courtney and Majority Leader, Senator Kate Brown to develop a package of legislation to reduce health care costs.
This legislation will reduce health care costs and increase accountability for insurance, hospital and pharmaceutical companies. As you know, right now there is not transparency in the prices these corporations charge. Without accountability we cannot be sure consumers are receiving a fair price or using our health care dollars wisely.
Our legislative package will reduce health care costs for businesses, working families and the state budget.
As the session progresses we will discuss this legislative package in greater detail. This legislation will only be successful with your help. We must continue to contact legislators, write letters to the editor and share our stories.
Learn more about our legislation and how to get involved in the fight for affordable health care on our website http://www.oregoniansforhealthsecurity.org
Senators Wyden and Smith to hold joint town halls across the state
Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith are holding a series of joint town halls this week to develop a bi-partisan legislative agenda for Congress. As we shared in the December 13 issue of the Monitor, federal funding for health programs is in jeopardy. These cuts could have serious consequences for the Oregon Health Plan. Wyden and Smith's town halls are a great opportunity to ask the senators to oppose cuts to Medicaid and to oppose efforts to cap or block grant the program.
Any cut in Medicaid funding will have a profound effect on the economic viability of Oregon's health care system. If you cannot attend one of the town halls, please send a message to the senators by clicking here.
Marion County Town Hall
Monday, January 10, 2:00 - 3:15 Rogers Music Building, Hudson Hall,
Willamette University, Salem
Lane County Town Hall
Monday, January 10, 6:00 - 7:15 Lane Regional Sports Complex,
200 S. 32nd St., Springfield
Jackson County Town Hall
Tuesday, January 11, 10:00 - 11:15 City Council Chambers Medford City Hall, 411 W 8th St. Medford
Deschutes County Town Hall
Tuesday, January 11, 2:00 - 3:15 Deschutes County Fairgrounds, Middle
Sisters Main Hall, 3800 SW Airport Way, Redmond