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In the last election, a majority of voters in Oregon chose to add a right to affordable healthcare to the state constitution, the first state in the nation to do so. It is short and simple:
SECTION 47. (1) It is the obligation of the state to ensure that every resident of Oregon has access to cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable health care as a fundamental right.
(2) The obligation of the state described in subsection (1) of this section must be balanced against the public interest in funding public schools and other essential public services, and any remedy arising from an action brought against the state to enforce the provisions of this section may not interfere with the balance described in this subsection.
It must have been written by trial lawyers. There will be endless litigation. There was already a movement in the state for statewide single-payer health care. This will inevitably lead to it. I predict it will cost the state untold billions of dollars. California can afford expensive, crazy stuff because they get so much money from Silicon Valley billionaires and millionaires. Oregon can’t. The tax burden will fall on the middle class.
I am a fifth-generation Oregonian and I love my state, but I can’t abide the direction it has taken. I stay only to be close to my family (generations six and seven). I can only hope that I die before healthcare goes totally in the toilet.Published in