New GOP Health Bill Repeats Earlier Mistakes, Hurts Poor

Where in the World is Walden?

Oregon’s Congressman Greg Walden is a powerful member of Congress and co-author of the original repeal and replace House bill that would have denied health insurance coverage to more than 20 million US citizens and thousands of Oregonians. That legislation failed.

Now Republican Senators have a new version identified as: Graham-Cassidy (G-C).

This version will ultimately deny more than 30 million Americans health insurance coverage and targets those low income areas like Eastern Oregon and rural and other less wealthy portions of our own Clackamas County.

AARP has done an independent study of this legislation focusing on seniors. For Oregonians, AARP found that for those 60 and older who have an income under $25,000 per year, health insurance premium increases would average $16,315 per year.

Even more perverse is that the lower an individual’s income the higher the premium they will face. Those Oregonians with incomes between $25,125 and $31,250, while still facing sizable increases, will face smaller increases than those earning under $18,750 per year.

Rep Walden has yet to oppose this proposal and is unlikely to do so, putting his party before people once again.

What this version of Republican repeal and replace legislation demonstrates is that there is only one long term solution for healthcare in the US. It is the same option adopted by practically every industrial country since WWII — a version of “Medicare for All” or a single payer system. In this system the costs of providing healthcare are spread across the entire population, not just the sick; quality of your healthcare isn’t determined by the size of your wallet.

It’s time for Rep. Walden to stopping being part of the problem. Also we urge our own Rep. Kurt Schrader to become part of the solution by co-sponsoring legislation to protect the healthcare of all Oregonians.

The Clackamas Democratic Party has adopted single payer as a priority. It is part of the State Party Platform. The time is now.