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Reception Friday to launch new health care initiative campaign

Friday, September 16, 4 p.m.
Paragon Restaurant, NW Hoyt and NW 13th, Portland
Measure 40 is a proposed amendment to the Oregon constitution which says that health care is a right, and tells the state legislature to come up with a plan by 2009 to extend medical insurance to everyone in the state.

It is sponsored by HOPE for Oregon Families. The chief petitioners are state Rep. Mitch Greenlick, Sen. Alan Bates, and Sen. Ben Westlund.

Since Measure 40 is an amendment to the state constitution, we need to gather 101,000 valid petition signatures by July 2006 to get it on the November 2006 ballot.

If you would like to help gather petition signatures, please contact state Rep. Mitch Greenlick.
 mitchgreenlick@msn.com 503-292-2223

Our website is at  http://hopeoregon.org.

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BALLOT TITLE

AMENDS CONSTITUTION: REQUIRES ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE AS FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT; LEGISLATURE MUST ADOPT PLAN EXPANDING HEALTH CARE

RESULT OF "YES" VOTE: "Yes" vote requires state to ensure access to health care as fundamental right, and legislature to adopt plan expanding health care coverage, for Oregon residents.

RESULT OF "NO" VOTE: "No" vote retains current law, which does not require access to health care as fundamental right or require legislature to adopt plan expanding health care.

SUMMARY: Amends constitution. Currently, state statutes establish goals for universal health care; state constitution does not require legislature to adopt health care plan. Measure requires state to provide access to health care as fundamental right for every Oregon resident; legislature must adopt plan that incrementally expands health care coverage so residents can regularly obtain effective, affordable health care. In developing plan, legislature must consider ways to: conserve, strengthen existing health care system; conserve, strengthen system of providing health insurance as employment benefit; encourage individual responsibility for health care; maximize use of federal programs; encourage efficient, effective use of expenditures; improve health of every Oregon resident. Plan must be adopted not later than July 1, 2009; repeals requirement to adopt plan on December 31, 2012. Other provisions.

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INITIATIVE

Rep. Mitch Greenlick, Sen. Alan Bates, Sen. Ben Westlund, chief petitioners

Be it enacted by the people of the State of Oregon:

PARAGRAPH 1. The Constitution of the State of Oregon is amended by creating new sections 46 and 46a to be added to and made a part of Article 1, such sections to read:

SECTION 46. Health care is an essential safeguard of human life and dignity and there is an obligation for the state to ensure that every Oregon resident has access to effective and affordable health care as a fundamental right.

SECTION 46a. (1) The Legislative Assembly by law shall adopt a plan that incrementally expands health care coverage so that every Oregon resident is able to obtain effective and affordable health care on a regular basis.

(2) When developing a plan for expanding health care coverage, the Legislative Assembly shall consider ways to:

(a) Conserve and strengthen the existing health care system to the greatest extent possible;

(b) Conserve and strengthen the existing system of providing health insurance as a benefit of employment;

(c) Encourage individual responsibility for one's own health care;

(d) Maximize the use of Medicaid, Medicare and other federal health care programs;

(e) Encourage the efficient and effective use of health care expenditures; and

(f) Improve the health of every Oregon resident.

(3) The Legislative Assembly by law shall adopt a plan that incrementally expands health care coverage pursuant to this section not later than July 1, 2009.

(4) This section is repealed December 31, 2012.

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WHY WE NEED THIS AMENDMENT

Do you believe all Oregonians have a right to effective and affordable healthcare?

Currently 615,000 Oregonians are uninsured. That is morally, politically, and economically untenable.

Since the uninsured can't access affordable, effective health care, when ill they are forced to rely on emergency care and, ultimately expensive hospitalization. Those of us with health insurance and our employers who provide health insurance pay the cost for the uninsured through higher premiums - perhaps as much as 15% of the premium.

We are currently leaving $1 billion to $1.5 billion in federal funds on the table because we have not expanded Medicaid coverage to its fullest. If we tapped into those funds by expanding a variety of programs that new revenue would produce 30,000 jobs for Oregonians.

This initiative directs the Legislature to do its job. The 2005 session ended without healthcare being addressed on any front - access, prescription drugs, or rising costs of health insurance.

The Oregon economy needs the legislature to address this issue. Fringe benefit rates have risen out of sight. It is difficult for responsible Oregon companies, those that provide health insurance for their employees, to compete in the global economy. These costs must be brought under control.

This proposal requires the legislature to develop an incremental proposal to increase access to affordable and effective health care for all -- while strengthening the existing health care system, encouraging employment-based health insurance, maximizing individuals' responsibility for their own health care, increasing the efficiency of the health care system, and improving the health of all Oregonian.

homepage: homepage: http://hopeoregon.org/
phone: phone: 503-292-2223

is oregon the trailblazer? 15.Sep.2005 16:50

wanting to know the nationwide picture

Does anyone know if this has happened elsewhere in the 50 states?