The cost of health care is out of control. For those who are fortunate enough to be insured, it often isn't enough in the face of serious medical challenges. Lew Frederick knows what our community is facing, he's seen his neighbors go through it and he's faced his own challenges, fighting off prostate cancer and finding ways to pay for medical costs his family's insurance won't cover. Inefficient systems and big money interests have kept the health care system working for profits instead of people.
It doesn't have to be this way. Here in Oregon, we spend millions buying private insurance from out-of-state companies for our public employees. Simply creating a public-backed insurance corporation in Oregon could save precious resources that could be used to expand access to health care for all Oregonians.
The money we save could be invested in incentive programs for nurses and other health care professionals to work and live in the communities that need them most, and moving toward a system where health care is given the status it deserves in a modern society -- a human right.
No one should get sick because they can't afford insurance, and no one should go broke because they get sick. Lew Frederick knows we can't wait for federal health reform -- Oregon can pioneer the policies that will cut health care costs, expand health care access, and most of all -- make our communities healthier.