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Published on December 29, 2017 2:30PM


Protect Oregonians by approving Measure 101

Measure 101 is important to rural Oregon. Where you live should not determine the level of care you receive, or if you are able to receive care. Families living in rural communities deserve consistent access to quality health care. In some rural counties, more than a third of families rely on Medicaid.

This January, voters will be asked to vote on Measure 101, which will provide direct funding for Medicaid in Oregon, protecting coverage for nearly 400,000 Oregonians and reducing premiums. It will also allow Oregon to receive nearly $5 billion in federal funding.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Oregon’s rural uninsured rate fell by 51 percent between 2013 and 2015. We need to build on that success to keep all of us healthy and stabilize costs. We can’t go back to a time when many people waited too long to go the doctor and ended up in the emergency room, or never even made it to the hospital. Families should not be put in that position.

Join me in voting YES on Measure 101 this January!

Robert Duehmig

Oregon Rural Health Association Board President

Measure 101 keeps important services in place

More than one in ten Wallowa County residents has health insurance because of Medicaid expansion. These are working people – ranchers and farmers, store clerks and contractors – who cannot otherwise afford health care coverage. These are the people whose access to health care, and whose health itself, could be severely impacted if Measure 101 fails.

A yes vote on Measure 101 supports the assessment of a fee on large hospitals and health insurers in the State and brings in three times that amount in Federal funds. It is a way to maintain the State’s Medicaid program at its current level for two years, giving the Legislature time to work out a long-term solution.

Here in Wallowa County, providers will continue to care for our families, friends and neighbors regardless of the outcome on Measure 101.

However, a no vote may require cuts in services currently offered by local health care providers, including the hospital and the full range of medical, dental and mental health clinics in the County. Our local providers, due in part to Medicaid expansion, are working together to provide some of the most innovative health care in the state of Oregon. A yes on Measure 101 continues that good work.

Please vote Yes on Measure 101 so that hard working folks in Wallowa County can continue to access essential healthcare for themselves and their families.

Nick Lunde

Board Chair, Wallowa County Healthcare District

Liz Powers

Family Physician, Winding Waters Community Health Center

I’m writing in regards to the front page of the Dec. 27 edition of the East Oregonian regarding upcoming state ballot measure 101 on funding for Oregon’s Medicaid program.

The reporter referenced Medicare which is a healthcare plan for those aged 65 and over. The article stated that Medicare is funded “solely by the federal government.” I beg to differ with that statement.

Medicare Part A is funded solely by deductions from the paychecks of working American citizens. Review your paycheck stub — there is a line item showing a dollar amount deducted for the employee Medicare. This is not a program gifted by the federal government, but rather it is (pre-paid) healthcare, paid for by every working American citizen via payroll tax deductions.

Furthermore, while Medicare Part A begins at age 65, Medicare Part B is paid for by the individual, as is Medigap Plan (which covers the 20 percent not paid by either Medicare A or B) as well as a Medicare Part D plan for prescription drug coverage. There is no funding for any part of Medicare coming form the federal government in any way, shape or form. It is all paid for by the individual Medicare recipient in one manner or another.

Medicare is not an entitlement benefit any more than Social Security or unemployment benefits. Our dollars paid out of our paychecks or personal funds — no federal dollars. Plus, where do any federal dollars for anything come from? None other than us by way of our tax contributions.

Pamela Johnson Duso

Pendleton



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