Study Ranks Oregon Last For Mental Health Care

The Lund Report, November 11, 2015
Originally published by Oregon Public Broadcasting, Nov. 9, 2015

A sign posted near the Vista Bridge in Portland urges people contemplating suicide to seek help.

A sign posted near the Vista Bridge in Portland urges people contemplating suicide to seek help.

A study looking at mental health care among states has ranked Oregon dead last.

The president of Mental Health America, Paul Gionfriddo, said researchers considered 13 elements for the ranking: from the number of residents with mental illness to access to care.

“Oregon does generally poorly on the prevalence of mental illness ranking," he said. "In other words, there are more children and adults with mental illnesses; with dependence on alcohol or drugs; with serious thoughts of suicide.”

The study also looked at factors like how many people have access to insurance, whether that insurance is adequate, and how high are the barriers to accessing mental health care. 


Why America's Central Bank Is Concerned About Our Growing Dental Health Care Crisis

Huffington Post: The Blog: August 22, 2015
by Wendell Potter

If the U.S. Federal Reserve is concerned about the state of dental care in this country, you know we have a problem.

In fact, according to the Fed, we have a very big problem.

The Federal Reserve Board of Governor's Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, released last month, contained some alarming statistics about the ability of Americans to find affordable health care -- especially dental health care.

The report -- which came almost 15 years to the day after U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher's startling assessment of oral health in America -- found that access to affordable dental care appears not to have improved much at all over the past decade and a half, especially among low-income families and people of color.

The report was the result of a survey the Fed conducted to get a handle on how many of us are experiencing economic hardships severe enough to make it difficult to make ends meet.

Thirty-two percent of those surveyed said they would have a hard time weathering a three-month period of "financial disruption" that might result from life-altering events such as the loss of a job or death of a primary breadwinner.

But job loss was not the main reason for a setback. Even with Obamacare, which enabled many of the previously uninsured to enroll in a health plan, the number one reason people cited for their financial hardship was a medical emergency.


Bernie’s Health Care Proposal Saves Money

single-payer system is an affordable way to expand health care to everyone in America.

by  Fair Observer , November 6, 2015

The Wall Street Journal claimed in a widely read article that US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign proposals may cost the government about $18 trillion over ten years.

Chief among those expenses is Sanders’ intention to establish a universal single-payer health care system, which The Journal, citing a study done by economist Gerald Friedman, said would cost about $15 trillion.

The Journal is right that Sanders’ proposals would require plenty of money, and the quoted figures are fairly accurate. But the newspaper conveniently forgot how much the proposals can also save, both in the short- and long-terms.

For starters, having a single-payer can dramatically increase the efficiency of the American health care system and increase the consumer’s bargaining power against the powerful pharmaceutical industry.

In this video, Friedman explains why Bernie Sanders’ proposals would save, rather than cost, money.