Whether you’re retired and living on a fixed income, or work in an office or at a construction site, you should be able to see a doctor or nurse when you’re sick and get medications when you need them. And it shouldn’t bankrupt you. Your income shouldn’t determine whether you can get the care you need.

That’s why AARP Oregon is working with over 100 organizations across the state to urge Oregonians to vote YES on Measure 101 this January.

 

In early January, registered voters across Oregon will receive a special election ballot, with one very important measure on it. Measure 101 protects healthcare coverage for one in four Oregonians, including 400,000 kids, and stabilizes premiums for Oregonians who buy their own insurance.

If Measure 101 isn’t passed, state funding for health care in Oregon will be cut by up to $320 million, resulting in the loss of up to $5 billion in federal funding that protects care for Oregon’s most vulnerable citizens: kids, people with disabilities, and seniors.

An assessment on hospitals and insurance companies

Measure 101 works by placing a temporary assessment, or fee, on insurance companies, coordinated care organizations, and hospitals. The 1.5% fee was agreed on by healthcare advocates, the healthcare organizations being assessed, and a bipartisan group of legislators, all of whom came together last year to draft the measure. All collected funds are directed by state law to be dedicated specifically to health care – ensuring the money helps those who need it most.

A clear choice: everyone benefits

Like AARP Oregon, Oregon’s nurses, doctors, local hospitals and other healthcare providers support Measure 101 because it is the best way to get basic healthcare to the most people. Measure 101 will assure adequate funding for Oregon’s Medicaid program, which provides coverage for low-income and vulnerable Oregonians, and for a program to stabilize rates and premiums in the individual health insurance market.

Rural families will be hit hardest if Measure 101 does not pass

Geneva is an AARP member and a nurse in Medford who worries that without Measure 101, families and seniors seeking healthcare in communities outside of the Willamette Valley and Portland area would be hit especially hard. “Every day, I see how fragile healthcare access can be, especially in southern Oregon and in rural communities across the state; patients like ours will be devastated if Measure 101 fails,” she says.

I couldn’t agree more. Health care access is a huge concern for our AARP members in rural areas, which is why AARP Oregon is urging folks to vote yes on Measure 101.

Bottom line? Measure 101 keeps Oregon healthy, our health care affordable, and our economy strong and growing. Join me in voting YES this January.