Now is time to reform health care

November 19, 2007 11:00 pm

To the editor:

Now that Oregonians have soundly rejected a piecemeal tax measure (Measure 50) that would have only temporarily hidden the real cost behind our fractured health care system, we can get down to the business of enacting true health care reform.

There are over 600,000 uninsured Oregonians amongst us. For those who are insured, more than $1,200 of an average family medical insurance premium goes toward covering the costs of the uninsured. As a society, most of our public health care dollars are spent on uninsured adults with chronic diseases.

As this population ages, there will be fewer and fewer public dollars available for schools, police and roads. Providing health care access to the uninsured is not only a moral imperative, it makes good fiscal sense.

The Oregon Health Fund Board, created by the 2007 Legislature, is in the process of developing a comprehensive plan to ensure access to health care for all Oregonians. It is incumbent upon us all to weigh in in favor of substantial reform. A healthy society is a strong one. We cannot afford to wait.

Dr. Wendy Warren

President

Oregon Academy of Family Physicians