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State legislature failed to pass most health care bills

When the 2005 Legislature adjourned Sine Die, they left behind countless Oregonians screaming for relief from the high cost of health care. Billed early on as the number one priority of the session, health care bills languished in the Republican-controlled House through the final hours of the 2005 session.
"Every day this session, we shared the faces and stories of Oregonians battling the health care crisis with legislators- those who are uninsured, paying too much for health care or unable to buy the prescription drugs they need," said Maribeth Healey, executive director of Oregonians for Health Security, "Skyrocketing health care costs are the number one concern of Oregonians-from business owners to parents. I can't understand how they can go home without substantially reducing the cost of health care."

There was some positive legislation enacted, notably SB 1, to finally require mental health be covered by insurance companies in the same way as physical health, SB 501 to increase insurance industry accountability and SB 782 to eliminate premiums for the lowest income Oregonians on the Oregon Health Plan.

"The legislature's support for elimination of premiums for the lowest income Oregonians will help ensure continued health care for the most vulnerable in our state," explained Ellen Pinney, executive director of Oregon Health Action Campaign, "The state's research shows this punitive policy was not cost effective."

Legislation to expand Oregon's prescription drug purchasing program, increase hospital cost transparency and ensure contraceptive equity all died in the Republican-controlled House.

Visit our website for a detailed list of the final status of health care legislation. In September, we will have a report card of the legislature's action on health care. Thank you to all who took action in contacting legislators this session. We will continue to work for common-sense solutions to reduce the cost of health care and plan to let Oregonians know who thwarted needed reforms this session.


Medicaid Matters!- Video Postcard Tour coming to a town near you.

With health care costs skyrocketing and more than 45 million uninsured Americans, Congress is talking about making it worse. We need to send a message to Senators Smith and Wyden and what better way to do it than with all our smiling faces and impassioned voices.

Oregonians for Health Security will kick off a statewide tour collecting video messages about Medicaid to send to our senators. Medicaid matters to all of us. It is responsible for ensuring health care access for the most vulnerable Oregonians, infusing our health care system with federal funds and preventing higher health care costs for Oregonians with private insurance. We need our senators to stand up against cuts that hurt Oregonians or our economy because every million invested in Medicaid results in $3.1 million of business activity in our state.

The tour will start August 16 in Medford and continue through early September. Visit our website for a detailed schedule. Anyone wishing to video a message to the senators can call us at 888-654-2273 or visit our website to find out more.


The Daily Dose

9 million children, or about 12% of all kids in America, are uninsured. However, the study led by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that another 9 million children have gaps in coverage and are just as likely as uninsured kids "to miss out on seeing a doctor or getting a prescription refilled." -- Associated Press July 27, 2005

Oregonians for Health Security
9813 SE Hwy 212 Clackamas, OR 97015
(503) 655-2793 (503) 655-2879 fax

State legislature 2005 health care bills scorecard 08.Aug.2005 15:33

Oregonians for Health Security

Copied from their website.

We need a health care initiative for 2006 08.Aug.2005 16:56

Lynn Porter

I just sent the following letter to the Eugene Register-Guard.


When people are deprived of what they need simply to survive, their civil rights are violated. We need a new civil rights bill for sick people, to guarantee them the right to medical care.

The state legislature, blocked by a Republican majority in the House, a timid Democratic majority in the Senate and a missing-in-action governor, has shown itself incapable of protecting this vital right. They have wrecked the Oregon Health Plan.

It's time for an initiative to wipe out all the business tax break giveaways and dedicate the increased revenue to the Oregon Health Plan.

I wonder how much of a bribe it took for 08.Aug.2005 17:18

Karen Minnis

to hold up these bills in the house? Is she bought for cheaply like a whore...or?

HCAO discussion email list 09.Aug.2005 11:10

Lynn Porter

Health Care For All - Oregon, which sponsored the universal health care Measure 23 in 2002, has a discussion email list open to anyone who would like to talk about health care issues. Delivery is set to "Daily Digest" (you can register with Yahoo and change it), so that each day's messages to the list come bundled in one email. To subscribe, just send an email (no message required) to:


If you prefer, you can read messages to the list online at: