Have you heard that Oregon is changing its state-wide health insurance rules and coverage? Oregon Health Plan (OHP) will soon be insuring far more people than it currently is. What is now a difficult, lottery-based system to become a member of is morphing into a system of coverage for far more of our uninsured and medically under-served.
With many thousands of insured soon to be covered and looking for care, Oregon's lawmakers are scrambling to write new legislation to outline future insurance structure. One thing's for certain: in a country already deficient in the number of primary care doctors we have, adding so many more to the patient pool will make for an even more burdened system. Good thing is, there's a few solutions.
One of those solutions comes in the form of non-discriminatory wording of legislation. This allow for all those qualified and trained to step in to help fill the gaps in providing quality primary care to all those who need it. This includes my profession, Naturopathic medicine, which trains medical students to serve as primary care physicians (as NDs), who are not currently covered by OHP.
There's only one main group opposed to this legislation wording: HMOs. This stands out, since HMOs (in my understanding) are all about cost savings as a means for profit margin growth, and preventive care has been shown to be the most ideal way to provide care and keep costs low (analysis by RobertWood Johnson Foundation in 2009).
The time for submitting comments to legislators is closing tomorrow, so if you agree with the above, please consider taking a minute of your time and contacting your representatives (if you live in Oregon) at this site.
Thank you for reading, and I look forward to keeping you abreast of the future developments in our state's healthcare reform.
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