Hot off the Press
Rep. Greg Walden has been a staunch supporter of the National Rifle Association. It isn’t easy to find how much money he has taken from the NRA. Here are links to some information about Walden and his relationship to the NRA.
This is to invite any of you who have not yet seen the movie, “Big Pharma: Market Failure” to come to a free showing this coming Monday evening, Feb 26, at 6:30 pm. Its about outrageously priced drugs in the U.S. and what we can do about it. Hint: it involves collectively organizing, but it is very promising because it is produced by a prominent business leader who is helping to get other business leaders behind the movement.
Despite resistance at the national level with the current administration, some very promising developments have been occurring here in Oregon as well as in neighboring states. And, here in the Rogue Valley our local chapters of Health Care for ALL-Oregon are continuing to work to build a movement for a more progressive health care system in the future. That includes our local Jo County chapter too, and we’ll talk a bit about that.
Currently, there are two bills under consideration in the state legislature. One, called the “Hope Amendment” will probably be approved for a statewide initiative for a state constitutional amendment vote by the public this Fall. It would commit the state to recognize basic health care as a right for every citizen of Oregon and obligate the state to determine how to meet that commitment.
Another bill, HB 4005, would demand greater transparency from pharmaceutical companies to justify their prices and the hikes they make in prices every year.
I hope you’ll be able to make it to the meeting. I believe you’ll find the movie interesting and informative. And, I would also like to share news about how we can help support moving toward better, more effective, less expensive health care — for everyone!
Why be elected rather than appointed? For one thing, you can then vote for the officers of our local Democratic Party!
It is easy to get your name on the ballot. Starting February 1st, you can file with our county’s clerk using this form . Last date to file is March 6th. Of course, you could also be elected via a minimum of 3 write-in votes (you and two neighbors/relatives in your precinct)… but isn’t this easier? And more “sure”?
Fill it out today and bring to the clerk’s office in the Court House: 500 NW Sixth Street, RM 170
The latest candidate to jump into Oregon’s Congressional District 2 race is Dr. Jenni Neahring, from Bend. She decided to run because, as a physician, she sees many areas of our health care system that need changing, but was repeatedly told nothing will change unless decision-makers at the top of our government change. She believes in a single-payer healthcare model, and says it would save money by weeding out redundancy, unnecessary procedures, and endless paperwork.
Many issues tie back to healthcare, Neahering says, even guns and the environment. She believes people in a state as divided as Oregon can still unite when it comes to people’s safety, air and water quality, and access to good medical care. Her father’s family were refugees from China, so Neahering understands why immigration is so important to America. She serves on the board of a public charter school focused on the environment and has developed a fascination of the relationships in nature that once disrupted, have a long chain of consequences.
Neahring is a palliative care physician, helping people with chronic and terminal illnesses live as best they can. While working with this population, she became interested in health policy, and how it affects people’s lives. She has also worked with veterans and in VA hospitals, so she knows the needs they face.
Her campaign strategy hinges on raising money. She believes it will take $1-$2 million to run against incumbent Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River). She says she will be counting on, not only small donations from the district, but support from medical associations anxious to get someone elected who knows what good health care policy is. Women in medicine groups can raise money as well, Neahering says, and they are anxious to support someone willing to improve medical care nationwide.
Neahring said she’s late to the campaign because she was working until about a week ago, and is just starting to visit district 2 and attend forums with other candidates. She has hired a campaign manager, and is in contact with prominent Oregon Democrats, including former Gov. John Kitzhaber, who has put her in touch with campaign organizers.
Congressman Greg Walden paid $7,000 in taxpayer funds in a secret settlement with a staff member to resolve the man’s complaints that Walden unfairly cut his hours due to his combat-related health problems. Cody Standiford, the staffer with whom Walden settled in 2013, came to work for the congressman in his Bend office in 2010 after being discharged from the Army.
Read more in the Oregonian article.
The Trump Administration has shortened the time period of health insurance 2018 enrollment from NOW until 12/15, plus they have drastically reduced the resources to advertise open enrollment. If you have your health insurance via the Marketplace Exchange–check out next year’s plans to save money. If you do not have health insurance–check out the plans available and potential subsidies. If you are none of the above, but know people who are — TELL THEM!
Lots more information, including historical impacts of the ACA in Josephine County are here.
October 5, 2017 proponents of the veto referendum submitted enough valid signatures, over 59,789, to have this measure on the Ballot.
Ballot Summary: This measure asks voters to approve or reject five parts of HB 2391 enacted by the 2017 Oregon Legislature to address certain health care funding issues. The funding is for low-income adults, children, families and individuals with disabilities.
It will stabilize premiums charged by insurance companies for health insurance purchased by individuals and families. HB 2391 provides the funding through a 1.5 percent assessment on premiums of health insurance companies, Public Employee’s Benefit Board and managed care organizations for a two year period, and an additional 0.7 percent assessment on the net revenue of some hospitals over approximately 2 years.
This measure asks voters to approve or reject the majority of these assessments.
A YES vote provides funds that are currently budgeted to pay for health care for low income individual. It specifies that insurance companies may not increase rates on health insurance premiums by more than 1.5 percent as a result of the assessment.
A NO vote underfunds budgeted costs for providing health care to low-income individuals and families and individuals with disabilities and for stabilizing premiums charged by insurance companies, Public Employees Benefit Board and managed care organizations.
The proponents of the veto referendum ignore the resulting serious impacts if funding is withdrawn. Potentially a No vote will remove 375,000 adults from the Oregon Health Plan, reduce benefits for one million Oregonians, reduce health care jobs and reimbursements to providers and make private insurance more expensive.
The health care insurance companies, managed care organizations, and hospitals are in favor of this assessment.
Perhaps a reminder to call Rep. Walden s office: 541-776-4646. Ask him to re-fund the Children s Health Plan (CHiP). 8.9 million children will be kicked off health care unless it is continued. It has helped lots of children get health care for the past several years. Funding ended Sept. 30. It needs to be funded.
And while you are on the phone with him/his office — Tell him to assure that insurance subsidies for the ACA are paid.
Let’s see, that’s 8.9 million children plus a minimum 2.5 million ACA tax credit recipients who will not be able to afford health care. Can our Congress do something for middle to low income folks??
Far-right extremists are attempting to get enough signatures for a ballot measure, that if passed, would roll back Oregon healthcare gains. Please refuse to sign their petitions. It might not hurt to tell them they are going against Oregon values as well. Read about it here: http://ouroregon.org/far-right-timber-baron-bankrolling-healthcare-rollbacks/