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 Astoria

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