Soapbox: Measure 101 helps stabilize health rates
One of my regular patients is a 56-year-old woman with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. She is recovering from breast cancer and has kidney disease. I am her primary care doctor, but she also sees a nephrologist, a gastroenterologist, a cardiologist and an oncologist.
Without Medicaid, she would face serious complications from her illnesses that likely would require hospitalization.
Many of the 45,000 patients we serve at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center suffer from chronic illnesses and pain. They are also the working poor and rely on Medicaid to keep their conditions in check with regular clinic visits, medications and referrals to specialists, when needed.
If they lose insurance coverage, they will lose access to preventive health care and their conditions will worsen, sending many to the emergency room. That's not a place to get care. They need access to medications and specialists. As they get sicker, they will require more and more costly medicines.
Ballot Measure 101 helps stabilize health insurance rates for all of us by providing people with lower cost preventative care, rather than forcing people to get their healthcare in the emergency room where the costs are paid for by all of our insurance premiums. Measure 101 is clear: premiums cannot increase more than 1.5 percent as a result of the assessment on insurance companies. M101 also lowers premiums for Oregonians who purchase their insurance by up to $300 per year.
Think about people in your own life who have chronic illnesses and their daily struggles — sitting in an emergency room, waiting for help because they have no other choice is no way to live.
It doesn't have to come to that. Please vote Yes on Measure 101 in January.
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