Media Room

Impact of the American Health Care Act
REMARKS AS PREPARED

March 16, 2017
 
I’d like to start by thanking so many Oregonians for joining me today.


• Patients
• Providers
• Home care workers
• Hospitals
• Insurers
• CCOs
• Small businesses
• Public Health Directors
• Counties
• Tribal Health Representatives
• Consumer advocacy organizations

This group stands with me today to prove health care touches all of us.
 
We know the Affordable Care Act works in Oregon. It works so well that it’s considered a model system around the country.
 
We have changed lives by expanding access to care to 95 percent of adults. What’s even more special, 98 percent of children now have access to care.
 
We have changed families by providing more than 23-thousand jobs. These are especially important in rural Oregon, which is just starting to recover from the economic downturn that started 10 years ago.
 
We have changed communities by generating billions of dollars in economic activity.
 
By all accounts, the Affordable Care Act has been a HUGE success for Oregon.
 
We have been able to provide better care while keeping cost down.
 
The proposal to replace the ACA will punish Oregon for our success.
 
Last week, when the proposal was first released to the public, I directed the Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Consumer Business Services to evaluate how it will affect Oregonians.
 
Our report found that for every step of progress that Oregon has made, this proposal will take Oregon THREE STEPS BACK:
 
It will triple the number of Oregonians who are uninsured. More than 400,000 Oregonians will lose health coverage.
 
This bill is not about improving health care, this bill is about giving tax breaks to the wealthy.
 
It will have a greater impact in rural Oregon than in urban parts of our state. More than 1 in 3 people in our central, eastern, and southern counties depend on OHP for their care.
 
It will cost jobs and put a damper on Oregon’s economic growth. The 23-thousand jobs the ACA created will be lost along with another 19-thousand jobs that support the healthcare industry. We cannot afford to lose 42,000 jobs in Oregon.
 
This is ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE.
 
This bill will pull the rug out from under Oregonians: from families, to doctors, to hospitals.
 
They’re all here to talk with you today.
 
One of them is Brandy. She came here today from Lincoln City. We just got the chance to meet and I can’t believe what she is going through. She is the mother of three young children. Her youngest has cystic fibrosis and her oldest has been diagnosed with behavioral heath issues.
 
If Brandy loses coverage under the Oregon Health Plan, medication would cost her family more than 4-thousand dollars a month. They simply can’t afford it. Without medicine, Brandy’s daughter would struggle to swallow her food and her son would lose the therapy and treatment he needs to have a healthy future.
 
This administration promised that no one would lose health insurance.
 
I URGE Congress to consider families like Brandy’s when voting for this proposal.
 
I URGE Congress to consider the dreams it will destroy by pulling these jobs from the families that need it most.
 
I URGE congress to not throw Oregon and the rest of this country into uncertainty and instead support the health of our residents, communities, and economies.
 
We all stand here today to say any changes at the federal level should move Oregon forward, not backwards.
 
I would like to thank Brandy, Diane, Dan, and Morgan for joining us today and I look forward to hearing their stories. I’ll be taking their voices and this report to Washington DC so that Congress knows exactly how their political games will impact Oregonian’s lives.