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Oregon House sends ‘health care as a human right’ to the 2022 ballot

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SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon House voted Wednesday to send a constitutional amendment to Oregon voters that would enshrine health care as a right for all Oregonians. 

SJR 12 would amend the Oregon Constitution to ensure that every resident of Oregon has access to cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable health care as a fundamental right, Oregon Senate Democrats said in a news release, which continues below.

The bill is the legacy of the late State Rep. Mitch Greenlick, who chaired the House Committee on Health Care for many years.

“We need to send this to the voters because of the unpredictability of the future of health care at the federal level,” said Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego), who co-carried the bill on the House floor. “The marketplace needs some stability, and the state of Oregon needs a path forward. We don’t need better insurance instruments, we need better access to health care.”

“Burdensome medical bills, or medical conditions that go untreated because of a lack of financial resources, cause great strain to families and individuals all over this state,” said Rep. Rob Nosse (D-SE Portland), the bill’s other co-carrier. “They hold people back, causing them to forego starting a business, getting an education, buying a home, or having children. This amendment is a practical and sober statement of what the people of this state need.”

“Oregon has already led the country in health care reform, daring to make improvements that other states envy, but we need to push ourselves further,” said Rep. Rachel Prusak (D-West Linn), the current chair of the House Committee on Health Care. “A person’s opportunity to have a healthy life should be equally as boundless; everyone deserves access to comprehensive, affordable, high-quality health care, including mental healthcare.”

SJR 12 passed 34-23, and will be on the ballot in the 2022 general election.

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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