I understand the importance of health insurance. When I was raised health insurance was not even a consideration for our family. My family lost everything and were torn apart because of health costs.
I was raised on a cattle ranch here in the Willamette Valley. The ranch life was a good life. When I was 11 years old my 17-year-old brother had a catastrophic illness and almost died. We were forced to put the ranch up for sale. During this time the house caught on fire and was completely destroyed. My parents were forced into bankruptcy and we lost everything.
My father was unable to find work and, broken, disappeared. My mother and the three of us children moved to a very small rental home in the neighboring town of Creswell. She worked two poorly paying jobs. We all pitched in to help. I picked crops to earn money during the summer and took as many babysitting jobs as I could. At 12 years old I cleaned the house, did the laundry and did all of the cooking for the family. There were times when there was barely enough to eat. Christmas gifts were out of the question.
We still had some fun. We listened to music and talked together almost every night. There was the occasional 25 cent movie. I learned new things about life and people. I know what it is like to be financially poor and yet rich in family. These were not bad years for me. I learned to adapt, to take responsibility and too hope for a better future.
As your Oregon House Representative I will listen to the smallest, weakest voice in the district. All of my decisions will be made with a concern for how those decisions may affect the young, the elderly, the poor, the disabled and the disenfranchised members of our community. Families should not have to chose between daily living necessities and health care. My family is just one example of what happens when you are poor and have a medical emergency.
To me the best solution is universal health care. Take the insurance companies out of our care. The insurance company lobbyist work hard and spend millions of dollars to protect their cash cow. Health care should not be a partisan issue. It is a basic right. Our physicians and medical providers would have more time for care and would not be bogged down doing paperwork to try to help the patients get coverage. Overall expenses would go down, way down. Over 25% of medical expenses go to the insurance provider. Eliminate the middle man.
I am a senior citizen so I am able to benefit from the Medicare program. If we expanded this program to everyone it would reduce costs and simplify the delivery system. Get the lobbyist out of our health care!
This is a conservative approach to what has become a costly, over politicized battle. Reduce the bureaucracy. Reduce the redundancy of delivery systems. Make it simple, now!