There was a great health care success story in Oregon in 2014, when 360,000 Oregonians received health care for the first time under the Medicare expansion of the Affordable Care Act. That incredible surge brought the percentage of Oregonians with health insurance up to nearly 95 percent — an incredible number.
Why should people who get insurance through their employment care? Why should hospitals? Why should insurance companies themselves? Easy. It is a lot more cost effective and efficient to provide health care to people who are insured. The uninsured will still receive healthcare, only it will be in the very expensive emergency room and will have to be written off as charity by the hospitals. So who pays? Everyone who has insurance will ultimately bear the cost through increased premiums.
While Measure 101 is not perfect, there is no better solution waiting in the wings, and under 101 Oregon will continue to have one of the highest levels of insured individuals in the nation. That is definitely worth a yes vote.