News Release

New report finds support for a public option among Oregon voters

For Immediate Release

PORTLAND --- A new report, Oregon Attitudes on Health Care, released by OSPIRG Wednesday, details the results of a survey of Oregon voters about their experiences with the health care system. The poll asked Oregonians about the effects of rising costs, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and their opinions on a state-run public option for insurance.

The new release reveals that 30 percent of Oregon voters reported an increase in their health care costs in the last 12 months. Nearly 4 in 10 have taken detrimental action because of it, including delaying or cancelling appointments and rationing medications.

“Last year, I broke my leg while out of state,” said Brandi W., from Eugene. “Due to my healthcare costs, I chose to not go to the doctor, and to return to work instead of seeking medical care. Two weeks later, my leg snapped the rest of the way and I was forced to seek medical attention. I did not go to physical therapy or follow up with any aftercare beyond the surgery as I could not afford the doctor visits, PT visits, and additional testing needed. I regularly make medical decisions based on finances and healthcare, not on whether treatment is needed.”

The report also found positive public opinion about a public health insurance option in Oregon. Two-thirds of respondents think there should be a public option, and the majority, regardless of geography or race, would consider buying a public option plan.

“The results of this survey underscore the need for urgent action to address runaway healthcare prices in our state,” said Katie Shriver from the SEIU Oregon State Council. “A public option could play an important role in making critical healthcare services accessible to Oregonians who lack insurance coverage or who can’t afford to use their insurance due to ever-increasing deductibles and co-pays.”

“Oregonians are tired of making an unwinnable choice between health care expenses and other necessities. A public option can lower costs and financial barriers, helping Oregonians get the care they need,” said Maribeth Guarino, OSPIRG’s health care advocate.

You can find the full report on our website.

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