by Dianne Farrell, Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates, Corvallis
The Gazette-Times, January 19, 2015
You don’t have to read the latest AARP magazine to know that prescription drugs under patent have humongous profit margins. You probably also know that nonprofit hospitals pay their CEOs and administrators exorbitant salaries and charge patients in an arbitrary fashion.
Huge bills, presented to Medicare, Medicaid and now also to the administration of the Affordable Care Act are going to break those programs.
This is because private interests got themselves written into the enacting legislation for the programs with no limits on what they could charge and, for the public entities, no right to bargain. No other developed country allows this. All of those countries have publicly funded systems to provide health care to all their residents.
Health care purchases are not free-market choices. They never will be. We need to work to provide health care for all the people in Oregon through fair taxation and through bargaining with providers and medical suppliers for reasonable costs.
On Feb. 11, there will be a rally on the capitol steps in Salem for Health Care for All Oregon. See http://www.mvhca.org/ for information. In this legislative session we are pressing for a funded study of financing alternatives.