January 20, 2023
In the November 2022 general election, Oregon voters narrowly approved Oregon Measure 111, the Right to Healthcare Amendment. The measure amended the state constitution, adding a guarantee of access to affordable healthcare for all Oregon residents. According to Ballotpedia, last accessed Jan. 20, 2023:
“The ballot title was as follows:
“Amends Constitution: State must ensure affordable healthcare access, balanced against requirement to fund schools, other essential services
“Result of ‘Yes’ Vote: ‘Yes’ vote requires state to ensure affordable healthcare access. State must balance healthcare funding against funding for schools, other essential services; courts must respect balance.
“Result of ‘No’ Vote: ‘No’ vote retains current law. The constitution does not require the state to ensure access to affordable health care; state provides some healthcare access.
“The ballot summary was as follows:
“Amends Constitution. Current state law outlines the general requirements for health insurance policies and provides health care for low income and disabled residents who meet eligibility requirements. Amends the Oregon Constitution to establish health care as a fundamental right; obligates the state to provide Oregon residents ‘access to cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable health care.’ Amendment requires the state to balance that obligation against the public interest in funding public schools and other essential public services. If the state is sued to enforce the amendment, the court may not order a remedy that interferes with the state’s requirement to balance healthcare funding against funding for public schools and other essential public services. ”
As Oregon Public Broadcasting reported on Nov. 15, 2022, last accessed Jan. 23, 2023:
“Measure 111 makes Oregon the first state in the nation with a constitutional obligation to provide access to affordable health care to all its residents, similar to the constitutional guarantee of a public K-12 education.
“The measure is a win for Democrats in the Legislature, who referred it to the voters over opposition from their Republican colleagues.
“The language of the measure states: “It is the obligation of the state to ensure that every resident of Oregon has access to cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable health care as a fundamental right.”
“But Measure 111 does not spell out what the state must do to meet its new constitutional obligation, or define what access to affordable health care means. It will be up to the Legislature to shape what health care access for all looks like and how to pay for it. The Legislature will be back in session starting in January.”
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Page last updated Jan. 20, 2023 by Doug McVay, Editor.