When small-business owners, middle-class families and senior citizens in Oregon talk about health care, they don’t sound anything like the national political talking heads. Instead, people tell me they expect government to help improve the health care system to deliver better care at less cost. I hear strong support for critical elements of the federal Affordable Care Act — like having insurance companies treat consumers fairly, providing better coverage for preventive care like mammograms and other cancer screenings, reducing the cost of prescription drugs and eliminating a lifetime maximum on health benefits. In fact, small employers were among the strongest supporters of the health insurance exchange passed recently by the Oregon Legislature well ahead of the requirements of the president’s health care law. Small-business owners pay an average of 18 percent more than larger businesses for employee health coverage — that’s money that otherwise would be available to expand their businesses and hire more workers. They see the value of an exchange as a central marketplace for insurance, with more options, more information and the ability to compare plans apples to apples.
Health reform is making a difference for Oregonians and for all Americans.
Read the full story here: http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/03/kitzhaber_commentary.html