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Legislature has responsibility to contain health care costs

On this fall's ballot incumbent Rep. Larry Galizio is being challenged for the House District 35 seat in the Oregon Legislature by Shirley Parsons.
by: Provided by Parsons campaign, Shirley Parsons

The rising costs of health care affect all Oregonians. Individuals, families and businesses are spending more to maintain health care coverage, which means less money to pay other bills. Even worse, many of us are losing our health care coverage.

This is simply unacceptable. I am running for State Representative because I believe the Legislature has a responsibility to contain rising costs and expand access to care.

First, we must protect Oregon's most vulnerable citizens by saving the Oregon Health Plan. A few years ago, the state dropped OHP coverage for thousands of Oregonians to save money. Today, Oregon is still struggling to fund OHP for those people who have remained in the program.

It's clear our system isn't working. Now more than ever, it's important for Republicans and Democrats to work together to enact innovative solutions. We need alternatives to costly emergency room visits, and policies that encourage needy Oregonians to receive primary and preventative care. The Legislature should also expand health care insurance to more of Oregon's children.

Next, the Legislature needs to help make health insurance more affordable. Many Oregonians are not prepared for catastrophic illnesses or injuries. The Smith-Wyden proposal to provide catastrophic coverage is an important first step. Congress should pass the proposal, and I will help implement it in Oregon. I'll also work to enact market-based solutions that offer Oregonians more choices to receive care.

I will also support positive and cost-effective programs, such as the Family Health Insurance Assistance program that enables Oregonians to purchase private policies. I support allowing small businesses to pool their resources together to offer coverage to their employees, as well as state policies to create portable and affordable health savings accounts.

As State Representative, I look forward to being part of the solution. Please join me.