I’m not sure why we are hearing so little about the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). The similarities to the Obama Plan do draw a strong parallel. The OHP is a state funded/administered program that was established in 1994. Logically speaking we have in place a system now that we can use to measure where Obama’s Healthcare Plan will likely take us within 15 years.
According to Oregon.gov.
The Oregon Health Plan (OHP) provides health care coverage to low-income Oregonians through programs administered by the Division of Medical Assistance Programs (DMAP). Currently, more than 380,000 people each month receive health care coverage through the Oregon Health Plan.
- Increase access to health care for low-income Oregonians.
- Improve the quality of health care and receipt of preventive services by low-income Oregonians, thereby improving their health.
- Contain health care costs.
Sounds good right? and familiar. Unfortunately, Oregon does not seem to be meeting it’s goals – or maybe it is? The main difference between Oregon and Obamacare is the addition of the “Death With Dignity Law” which Oregon passed in 1997, which has been upheld by the courts. Since this law has been upheld, what would stop the Federal Government from implementing the same guidelines? Not much – this type of legislation is already making it’s way through the States. The 2008 passage of the Washington Death with Dignity Act not only marked a great victory for Death with Dignity supporters, it also inspired legislators in other states to begin working on this important issue. Since the win in Washington, bills that seek to improve end-of-life care have been introduced in nine different state legislatures around the country.
Normally, I would say that the Healthcare and Assisted Suicide are two separate debates. Until you do a little research into what is happening in Oregon.
According to ABC News the Death With Dignity Law is being used in conjunction with the OHP.
The news from Barbara Wagner’s doctor was bad, but the rejection letter from her insurance company was crushing.
The 64-year-old Oregon woman, whose lung cancer had been in remission, learned the disease had returned and would likely kill her. Her last hope was a $4,000-a-month drug that her doctor prescribed for her, but the insurance company refused to pay.
What the Oregon Health Plan did agree to cover, however, were drugs for a physician-assisted death. Those drugs would cost about $50.
Unfortunely Ms. Wagner fell into the 5%-5years group. If the medication does not give you better than 5% chance of surviving for more than 5 years – sorry, no can do. I wonder, can you think of anything in the past five years that has brought meaning to your life? A birth, a wedding, a cure…………..
This is not an isolated case. Randy in the video was given the same option and he had prostate cancer. We’ve all been hearing alot about prostate cancer lately due to the fact that Chris Dodd is fighting this cancer. I haven’t heard anything saying that Mr. Dodd was turned down by his Government Plan?? For all men with prostate cancer, the relative 5-year survival rate is 100%, and the relative 10-year survival rate is 91%. So, why was Randy turned down? It seems the Oregon Health Plan is not consistent with it’s 5%-5year plan.
How is this explained by OHP?
“It’s their duty to inform patients of all of their legal options.”
Just like “Advanced Care Planning” – they’re just trying to help.
In 1994, the plan’s first year of operation, nearly 120,000 new members signed up, and bad debts at Portland hospitals dropped 16%. Sounds good so far.
The plan’s costs increased from $1.33 billion in 1993-1995 to $2.36 billion in 1999-2001. Wait – the hospital bad debts dropped by 16% at a cost to the taxpayers of $1.33 billion. Must be politician math.
New enrollment in the program was closed from mid-2004 until early 2008, when a lottery-based system was introduced. Tens of thousands of Oregonians signed up, competing for 3,000 new spots in the plan.
Significant cuts were made to the Oregon Health Plan’s budget in 2003. The following are highlights of reductions to the OHP for 2009-2011:
Only drugs on their pre-approved list with pre-approval will be paid for;
The most effective way to produce prescription drug cost savings is to allow DMAP to enforce its preferred Prescription Drug List (PDL) through the use of prior authorization (PA).
This pre-approved list will now include mental illness medication. Note: 13,000 mental health patients already lost their coverage with budget cuts in 2007;
This reduction would add mental health drugs to the preferred Prescription Drug List (PDL) and eliminate co pays for preferred mental health drugs.
Elimination of vision services;
This reduction option would eliminate routine vision coverage for all OHP Plus non-pregnant adults, age 21 and older (about 125,000 people).
Elimination of dental services;
This reduction option would eliminate all dental services for non-pregnant adults, age 21 and older, who are covered under the OHP Plus benefit package (about 125,000 people).
Elimination of Medicare ‘optional’ items;
This reduction option would eliminate certain services currently provided in Oregon that are considered optional under federal Medicaid regulations: Private Duty Nursing, prosthetic devices, hearing aids, chiropractic services and podiatrist services.
The rest of the reductions will be accomplished by cutting payments to providers and decreasing amount of money you can make to be eligible for the program;
Of 28,000 individuals currently served, about 4,000 exceed the 150 percent FPL requirement and will lose both their long-term care services and eligibility for the Oregon Health Plan.
What items will they be increasing the budget on?
- ITsupport for desktops and operating systems, e-mail, and file and print services
- 16 additional administrative staff positions
- Software upgrade to properly withhold union due for the long-term Community Based Care (CBC) system
- Certificates of Participation (COP) funding request and date conversion for the OR-Kids (not healthcare – software)
- Software upgrade to develop and deploy a single data information system
There will not be one increase in health care services – only cuts.
So, we have a working model of what we can expect if this healthcare reform passes and no one is talking about it.
An enlightening video posted on Hot Air: