Vote Yes on Measure 101 to protect Oregonians’ health care

This is a crucial time for health care access across Oregon and particularly here in Baker County. Voting YES on Measure 101 this January is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that affordable health care is kept accessible — especially for kids, seniors, and people with disabilities in Baker County. Over 10 percent of our county’s population depends on Medicaid for health care. These are our friends, families and neighbors who would otherwise go without needed care.

I run the hospital here in town, St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City. Because of that, I know firsthand how important accessible health care is. Not too long ago, people without insurance showed up daily for treatment at our emergency department. Now that doesn’t happen as much, because more people have insurance. That means lower costs for all of us, because people get the care they need from the doctor’s office, instead of using the emergency department.

State lawmakers crafted a balanced law to fund these vital insurance programs. It was a bipartisan effort that had the support of the entire health care community: doctors, nurses, hospitals and beyond. Now voters are being asked to weigh in on the package in January, and those same doctors, nurses and hospitals are asking you to vote YES on Measure 101. In total, more than 120 trusted organizations — including AARP-Oregon — are supporting Measure 101.

Everyone deserves access to basic health care and no one in our state should have to wonder whether they can afford to go in for care. With this law, more hardworking Oregonians will be able to afford quality health insurance that gets them the care they need. Please join thousands of health-care professionals across the state in voting YES on Measure 101 this January. You can learn more at www.yesforhealthcare.org.

J. Phil Harrop

President, St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City

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