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At the women’s march and rally at Central Park on Jan. 20 Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates stationed a kiosk for passersby to leave their replies to this question, “How would my life change if I no longer had to worry about how I get health care?”

Here are a few of Corvallis’ answers.

• “It would make me feel like I lived in a civilized country. I would be PROUD.“

• “I would sleep better at night and have better health because I could actually afford my C-PAP supplies.“

• “I would view health care as life-enhancing, not just life-saving.“

• “I would know that I could take care of my family.“

• “I might not hurt so much all of the damn time.“

• “I would not have to worry about how I keep working while sick to provide for my child.“

• “Thank God I now have Medicare! But until that happened I had to base every decision on how to get/keep/utilize my health insurance. That is no way for a civilized nation to live!"

• “I would worry less about money, and go to the dentist, Dr., etc. more often instead of one time a year.“

• “Everyone in the US would have the opportunity to reach their full potential.“

• “Dramatic increase in health, coupled with a dramatic decrease in cost! (If everyone had health care)."

• “Universal health care would allow life-long mental health coverage for everyone who needs it, not just those who can afford health care that covers mental health."

• “Wouldn’t worry about my son, without benefits in his work situation. He would be relieved of a great financial and stressful burden. Having two young children and a wife who is ill with chronic disease."

• “I would retire sooner!"

• “My budget would open up and I would go to the doctor more often. So I would spend more on other things and be happier."

• "I would be able to 'afford' medical care."

• “More time to enjoy life. Less stress."

• “I would feel freer to choose where I work. I would feel SAFE."

• “I could live my live happier and with less worry."

• “It would give me a reasonable income to live on."

• “I worry about my children’s and grandchildren’s health care. I could live my life worry-free."

• “I wouldn’t have to worry about medical bills despite having Medicare."

• “Retire from teaching and volunteer!"

• “I could smile more and worry less."

• “I wouldn’t be deducting health care off the top of my budget every month, right next to house payment!“

• “I wouldn’t worry about being laid off."

• “I would be less anxious about retirement."

• “The total worry if 'this is covered, or that is covered.' It should be for everyone. Not just the wealthy."

• “As a health care professional, a system of socialized medicine would be a great moral relief … eliminate the 'profit motive.'"

• “I could stop worrying about how my daughter will fare with her chronic health issues. We are all one breath from disaster."

State Rep. Mitch Greenlick is proposing an amendment to the Oregon Constitution (House Joint Resolution 203) guaranteeing health care as a fundamental right for all Oregonians. The amendment will eventually reach voters as a ballot measure and as a mandate for universal health care in Oregon. When that happens, Oregonians will sleep better at night and our kiosk, which is now plastered with descriptions of unmet needs, can retire. Please go to for more information.

Michael C. Huntington, a retired oncologist, lives in Corvallis. 


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