Measure 101: The Yes Perspective

Voting YES on Measure 101 by January 23rd protects healthcare coverage for one in four Oregonians, including 400,000 kids.

Matt Louck is one of a million reasons why Measure 101 is so important. When Matt was unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer and lost his job as a warehouse foreman, the Loucks family lost their medical coverage. Matt went without coverage and without treatment until Medicaid became available to the family in 2014. While his cancer is in remission today, he needs ongoing treatment and tests to keep it at bay. Without Medicaid, he may have to forego that care or go into bankruptcy. His family simply couldn’t afford it.

“When I got diagnosed with cancer, the wheels fell off the wagon,” Matt shares. “There should be no family out there that has to worry about ‘how am I going to put food on the table’ just because dad got sick.”

Measure 101 protects Medicaid coverage and benefits for hard-working families like the Loucks, and over a million vulnerable Oregonians who count on Medicaid, including seniors, kids, and people with disabilities.

How does it work?

Measure 101 proposes a small assessment on hospitals, insurance companies, and coordinated care organizations  that help fund Medicaid. The money provided by hospitals, insurance companies, and CCOs:

– Ensures every child in Oregon has access to healthcare
– Protects healthcare for 1 million Oregonians, including working families, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities
– Stabilizes healthcare costs and insurance premiums for people who buy their own insurance

Is this a sales or property tax that everyday people will end up paying?

It’s not a tax on everyday people, and won’t affect your property taxes. The assessments paid by hospitals, insurance companies, and CCOs raise between $210 and $320 million dollars, which are wholly dedicated to healthcare. The federal government matches what we raise here in Oregon, bringing billions of dollars of healthcare funding to help us continue funding Medicaid at its current level.

How will this affect school districts, universities, and college students?
When kids are healthy, they can stay in the classroom, leading to greater achievement and higher graduation rates. A YES on Measure 101 is supported by our state’s leaders on education and children’s health. The Oregon Education Association, Oregon School Boards Association, American Federation of Teachers – Oregon (AFT-Oregon), Oregon School Employees Association, Oregon School-Based Health Alliance, Oregon Pediatric Society and advocacy groups like Children First for Oregon and Stand for Children support the measure.

If Measure 101 doesn’t pass, what happens?

State funding for healthcare will be cut by between $210 and $320 million, resulting in the loss of potentially $5 billion in federal funding. Oregon families who rely on Medicaid face the prospect of losing healthcare benefits or coverage altogether.

Is there another way to fund Medicaid?
This budget came together after months of negotiations between healthcare stakeholders and lawmakers. It is the best policy for ratepayers, taxpayers, and everyone who counts on Medicaid/OHP for coverage. Making up the budget shortfall could require cuts to education, public safety, senior services, child welfare, or other essential services.

No matter where you live or work, or what your job is, you should be able to see a doctor or nurse and get medication when you’re sick, and it shouldn’t bankrupt you. Measure 101 holds down costs and is an important step to make basic healthcare affordable and accessible to every Oregonian.

For more information, visit yesforhealthcare.org.

Read the “no” perspective here.

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