Published: Sept. 30, 2013 The Observer (La Grande, Oregon)
To The Editor:
We are nearing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act with sign up beginning Oct. 1. This provides an opportunity to extend health insurance coverage to most Oregonians. Now no one should have to go without. You can go to www.CoverOregon.com, which is the online marketplace, to check rates and sign-up.
This has been a long struggle but a real windfall for health insurance and drug companies. I must confess that I was hoping for a simple extension of Medicare or another single-payer option, which I think is administratively much simpler and more efficient and cost effective.
I could not help but pause when I saw our own ODS Insurance Co. change its name to Moda Health and spend $40 million to purchase branding rights at the Rose Garden. So those dollars went to advertising that could have gone into service. This means that my premium dollars are subsidizing a sports arena rather then purchasing medical services. And we wonder why our premiums keep going up while our coverage is diminished.
This is not rocket science, but it is hard, and we will need to continue to press our legislative leaders to continue to move this system of health care financing along. When enough of us decide that we need a different system of financing, it will happen.
In the meantime, I urge you to use the www.HCAO.org website to see what your friends and neighbors are doing to educate themselves about Health Care for All Oregon.
David B. StillCove, Oregon