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The passage of Senate Bill 770-B, arguably the most important piece of Oregon health care legislation since the the mid-1990s, was overlooked by both the Gazette-Times and the Statesman Journal in their July 1 summaries of the 2019 Oregon legislative session.

When fully implemented over the next several years SB 770-B will protect Oregonians from health care-related financial disaster and becoming protagonists in an all-too-common tragic theme. You may have heard the stories. At the cancer center here in Corvallis a middle-aged man was overheard telling his wife, ”Honey, they say I have Stage III lung cancer and that I need chemotherapy and radiation therapy. I don’t think we can afford it. I don’t want to leave you and the kids homeless.”

Under SB 770-B a task force will be commissioned to assemble all of the elements needed for universal health care system. The plan will be taken around the state for town hall input as was done for the Oregon Health Plan in the mid-1990s. During those town halls the public found flaws in the Oregon Health Plan proposal that were missed by the professionals. The flaws were corrected and we ended up with a good system which has served Medicaid patients well for over 20 years.

Please stay tuned and study Oregon's SB 770-B and the federal bills, H.R. 1384 and S 1129, for universal health care. A town hall on these bills and universal health care is being planned for late October in Corvallis. More at mvhca.org.

Michael Huntington

Corvallis (July 1)

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