By David Bouchard, Chair, BRU’s Research and Advisory Committee
A few days after I moved to Portland in 2015, I was walking with my mother and sister in downtown, when suddenly, my mother fell after stepping off a curb. Her ankle was fractured, and she had to use crutches for several weeks after the fall. Trust me, it was no joke, and injuries like that don’t just go away after a few days, weeks, or even months.
My mom, who is also a bus rider, was able to enroll in the Oregon Health Plan, and like me, she is very concerned about Measure 101. She and I are both concerned that funding could be cut to healthcare programs that we both rely on. I haven’t had to go to the doctor yet, but I have Medicaid, and feel secure in knowing that I at least have some coverage if I get injured or sick. My mom goes to the doctor more often, and those funding cuts could really make a difference in the quality of care that she would receive.
Many other bus riders like us also rely on affordable health care, and we can’t afford the high premiums that a lot of insurance companies demand. It’s already hard enough getting to a doctor’s appointment when the bus system is so unreliable. To add to that, some appointments are only available at inconvenient times and locations. By the time you get to the doctor’s appointment, you may already be exhausted after an hour and a half on the bus and in the rainy chill.
If enough people voted no on Measure 101, then our essential care could be delayed. That could mean the difference between life and death. Let’s say that you wanted to make an appointment for a pain in your jaw, or a bump on your neck. The timing of that appointment could be delayed for you if funding is cut to essential Medicaid programs. That means that your health issue could get worse. By the time you see a doctor, you discover that it’s an advanced cancer. If only you could have been seen a month earlier. Folks, that’s what we’re facing with Measure 101. People may want you to believe that there is a better way to fund healthcare in Oregon. But in an era when we are literally under assault from racists and classists from every angle, we cannot afford to vote no on Measure 101. We cannot afford to encourage hospitals and clinics to cut corners with tighter budgets. Please vote YES on Measure 101. Bus riders are counting on you.
Here are three things you can do to support Measure 101: 1) VOTE YES and turn your ballot in today! 2) SHARE this post to let people know you support the measure! 3) VOLUNTEER! Measure 101 needs your support on the phones and doors. CLICK HERE.