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Mailbag: Task force working on proposals
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Mailbag: Task force working on proposals

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This year has been stressful for all due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for those who have had a relative or close friend seriously ill with the virus.

And not only with the illnesses itself, but also the social and economic side effects of expenses, job losses and just general insecurity. This often leads to severe mental and emotional stress

I was at a recent meeting of people in the health care field where a person in leadership in county mental health programs said that one of the frustrations and difficulties has been that many private insurance companies will not cover mental health issues. That in contrast with those on the Oregon Health Plan who, under the coordinated care organizations, are covered.

This points out and highlights a stark contrast between the possibilities of private insurance compared to a government-funded (citizen-funded through taxes instead of high premiums under insurance) health care system that is well run, such as our local tri-county Intercommunity Health Network Coordinated Care Organization, which administers the Medicaid program for this area.

A task force is working on proposals for a plan for health care for all. I urge you to look at it carefully, and I hope you support what they end up bringing to the legislature and public to approve in the not-too-distant future to make comprehensive health care, including dental and mental, available to all residents of Oregon.

Lawrence S. Eby, M.D.

Albany

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