SB 704 hearing on free health care (yet costs already +32%)

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

Days after Oregon Governor Tina Kotek announced that she needs the Oregon health care budget to grow 32%, lawmakers are now seeking to make health care costs free.  If costs are out-of-control now, how much more will they be when it is free for everyone?   Oregon hospitals last year were $300 million in debt, some are closing.

The Senate Health Care Committee held a hearing on SB 704 which directs the State to create universal health care system.  The State explanation says, in part,  Directs the Board to design an administrative structure for the Universal Health Plan, to assess the readiness of public institutions and infrastructure to carry out the plan”

One way to pay for it has previously been floated — a 15% income tax for higher income Oregonians and a different tax rate jump for others.

A union member testified at the hearing that “An Universal Health plan, free of charge at the point of service is in the only path forward”.   To supporters, it all must be free.

Another person testified in the hearing that free health care is the only solution to stop suicide.  This is interesting since Oregon is a top health care tax/regulation state and yet our suicide rate is in the top 10.  Based on this faulty logic, the more government spends in health care the more suicides you get?   This is absurd.

A man from Eugene gave this powerful testimony against universal health care, “I oppose SB 704 for the reasons I oppose universal health plans. I lived in a country with socialized medicine for many years and when it really mattered, I and my family suffered…. I’m against a governance board and proceeding with this type of reform. It is Unaffordable: When I’d see a general practitioner or primary care doctor, the sate would send me a check to pay the doctor with. Most of the times the checks were around $25-30. Why? There was no competition as the government had a near full control of the system. Thankfully for me, it was nearly bankrupting the state and private insurance was incentivised. I didn’t care that I received a tax cut for purchasing private insurance, what I wanted was better care than the government could provide.”

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