On Wednesday, hundreds of Oregon advocates gathered to protest Speaker Paul Ryan’s attacks on healthcare. As Ryan dined with the wealthy at a $2,700-a-plate country club fundraiser for Greg Walden, Oregonians made clear that attacks on healthcare — whether they are national or local — aren’t welcome in Oregon.
Just last month, Ryan and Walden backed a plan to take healthcare away from 23 million Americans, including 350,000 Oregonians. Thanks to thousands of activists across the country, the so-called “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act died in the Senate. But Ryan, Walden, and Trump remain laser-focused on taking healthcare away from millions.
Here in Oregon, the national attacks on healthcare have emboldened local Republicans. Rep. Julie Parrish, Rep. Knute Buehler and other Republican legislators are working with discriminatory, anti-choice, and anti-worker groups to rollback key provisions of a critical healthcare bill. During the 2017 session, legislators passed the Oregon Healthcare Protections Bill to safeguard coverage for 350,000 low-income Oregonians and reduce premiums for another 220,000. The Parrish-led rollbacks would remove coverage or raise premiums for half a million Oregonians.
But one thing was clear Wednesday: Oregonians aren’t willing to go back to a time when one illness or one broken bone could spell financial disaster. Together, we will fight back to protect our care.