This is no angelic bill!
I rarely get involved in the process of educating on ballot measures. I truly believe that everyone should have access to basic health care, and in an ideal world, it would be to quality healthcare. Sadly, our healthcare system has been taken over by financial interests and those who desire to have total control of the population. This bill that on the surface, looks like it provided healthcare for all Oregonians, is actually a trap that gives the government almost unlimited control of what healthcare you can get and further erodes the already compromised doctor-patient relationship.
Children's Health Defense Oregon is deeply concerned with the possible unintended consequences of Measure 111
by: Lynn Barton
October 23, 2022
In light of the lessons learned concerning the many destructive and ill-conceived government health policies implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic, Children's Health Defense Oregon is deeply concerned with the possible unintended consequences of Measure 111, if it should pass.
Measure 111 would establish health care as a right in Oregon. Many Oregonians believe that healthcare is a right. Universal health care sounds great, but in reality this measure would greatly reduce patient freedom of choice and lead to complete control by the state of how doctors practice, among other repercussions.
The measure would add an amendment to the Oregon Constitution establishing a right to "cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable health care" for every Oregon resident. The amendment would also require the state to "balance" the right to healthcare against funding public schools and other essential public services. It does not spell out how this balance would be achieved, and Oregonians cannot make an informed decision without knowing this. The devil is in the details, as they say.
Measure 111 would mandate single payer government health care for all. It is written as a constitutional amendment, making it very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse course later.
Combined with the plans of the Oregon Task force on Universal Health Care (created by the passage of SB 770 in 2019), Oregonians would come under total government control of their health care. The plan is to outlaw private health care, depriving citizens of choice. If you didn't like your health care, there would be no place else to go.
The measure says the state must provide "cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable health care." Who will decide what is "clinically appropriate?" The state, not you or your doctor. To get paid and to keep their licenses, doctors will have to comply with whatever the government tells them. Doctors will be effectively working for the state, not their patients. Do we want the government that deprived COVID patients of effective treatments and threatened the licenses of doctors who prescribed them given even more power to control all health care in Oregon?
The implementation of state control over health care would mean not only loss of doctors' freedom to practice as they see fit, but it's reasonable to assume that vaccine mandates would return and expand to other vaccines, because unvaccinated people would theoretically cost the state more. Patients who refused to take mandated treatments might lose their health care altogether or be punished in other ways. The COVID pandemic taught us that the public health authorities have no hesitation about mandating experimental vaccines and depriving people of their jobs if they don't comply, and there's no reason to believe it would be different under universal health care.
For all the problems with private insurance, universal health care would only magnify those problems, and there would be no remedy. Patients would get what the state decides, and nothing else.
The state would control hospitals as well. We saw this with CMS (the Center for Medicare Services) and COVID. CMS pays the majority of hospital bills. When CMS banned ivermectin and ordered treatment with Remdesivir and ventilators that killed most patients, the hospitals obeyed, because CMS paid large bonuses for compliance and threatened to withhold payments for noncompliance. Many people died from these "treatments," and there was no remedy. He who pays the piper calls the tune. Do we want to expand that kind of control to the entire health care system in Oregon?
There's also no guarantee that we would have access to alternative practitioners under universal health care, and even if we did, those practitioners would be controlled by the state. They would have to practice as required by the state. We would have to battle for the kind of practitioners we wanted covered and their freedom to practice as they think best. They would be constantly under threat of losing their licenses or income if they went outside the lines, so to speak. But isn't that why patients want alternative practitioners? Because they think and practice in creative ways?
Do citizens want the Oregon Health Authority, which implemented vaccine mandates and still maintains them on health care workers, which made permanent mask mandate rules and to this day mandates masks in all health care settings, running all of our health care? Do we really want to give them more power?
Exhausted by the vaccine mandate battles? Universal health care would only increase the politicization of health care. Under universal health care, we could expect more politics and more censorship of dissenting views. California just passed a law stripping doctors of their licenses if they don't follow the government narrative on how to treat COVID. The same and worse could happen here, and they wouldn't have to pass a law to do it. If the state pays, it makes the rules.
Other possible unintended consequences: universal health care could cause the best doctors to move to freer states where they could practice their profession without interference, and wealthy people would likely also leave to avoid the onerous taxes. (The 15% additional income tax to pay for it is likely a floor, not a ceiling.) Oregon would become poorer and poorer as those with means moved away and taxes increased to make up the loss, while the only doctors left would be those willing to function as mere technicians following approved algorithms. The high level "practice" of medicine where doctors use clinical judgement and skill, already under threat in the current regulatory environment, would be snuffed out for good.
Furthermore, what reason is there to believe that Oregon could tackle such a massive overhaul? The logistics of such a change are breathtaking, and if they failed, the consequences would be dire. Yet Oregon couldn't even build a state health care exchange website. To this day, it uses the federal one. This is also the state that couldn't get unemployment checks out during COVID, runs a DMV that is still dysfunctional, and it's hard to get anyone to even answer the phone.
The measure says that the state must balance between the right to healthcare and funding other essential public services. What does that mean? It's not defined. If Measure 111 passes, health care will become a right enshrined in the Oregon Constitution, but public safety and education will not. So it's conceivable that the money to fund health care would take precedence over public safety and education and every other need in the state. In addition, the state's track record on spending money suggests a lot of waste is to be expected, as well as costs that will run far above projections.
Given the assaults on the practice of medicine we have recently witnessed, we ask that you seriously consider your vote on Measure 111 with an eye to the likely increased governmental and pharmaceutical invasion of the doctor patient relationship among other unintended consequences that would likely result. This is one "gift horse" that deserves careful inspection before you decide whether to buy.
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