The Oregon League of Women Voters has come out in opposition to the proposed Hope Amendment, which is the proposed 2018 House Joint  Resolution (HJR 203).  

WHAT HJR 203 DOES: Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to ensure access to affordable health care be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at the next regular general election held throughout the state.  No revenue impact.

The letter from the League of Women Voters OR expressing its opposition, signed  by President Norman Turrill and Karen Nibler, Social Policy Director,  was sent to the  Oregon Legislature’s House Committee on Health Care on February 5, 2018.

Text of the Letter:

The League of Women Voters has a national position to promote a health care system that provides access to a basic level of quality care for all residents and controls health care costs. The League of Women Voters of Oregon has many members who are adamant supporters of health care for all.

Congress has not yet approved the health care for all program at the federal level nor has it approved the funding to cover all residents. Oregon has been fortunate to get approval for Medicaid funding and insurance subsidies for low income residents under the Affordable Care Act.

However, at this time there is no federal funding available for expansion of health care to residents above the low income level. The League cannot support an amendment for health care as a right because there is an implied state responsibility to provide the health care for all residents.

This would commit the State of Oregon to expand funding to include health care coverage for all without the federal partnership. The State of Oregon has insufficient income to support its current responsibilities and cannot provide the added cost of health care coverage for all its residents at this time.

The League of Women Voters of Oregon believes that Health Care for All is an avidly held ideal for the future. Many more federal and state responsibilities for health care services will have to be developed before health care for all becomes a reality. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss this legislation.