“We’re the only country that has such a mishmash of everything,” she said. “We have Medicare and Medicaid, private insurance, the VA system. There’s a lot of leakage in terms of cost that goes toward middle man, insurance. You have people churning in and out. Our system is crazy. People get scared of the idea of single payer, and yet it’s used in so much of the rest of the world.”
The state is commissioning a study on various kinds of health care systems, including single payer. Sen. Michael Dembrow, a Northeast Portland Democrat, said the study will initiate a planning process that incorporates some of the findings.
“What makes the most sense is for the Legislature to take the fruits of that work and craft a proposal that goes to the voters. It will require clear support from the public,” he said. “I’m committed to seeing us move to a different kind of model where access to health care is more universal and financed through a combination of taxes and other means."