November 15th, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Legislature

Progressive Groups: Salem to See Single-Payer Health Care Bill in 2011

After President Obama and Democrats in Congess failed to even put universal single-payer health care on the table, progressive groups say they'll bring a bill to the Oregon Legislature in 2011 that would establish that option in the state.

The announcement from Health Care for All-Oregon, Jobs with Justice, Physicians for a National Health Program and the Oregon League of Women Voters says state Rep. Michael Dembrow (D-Northeast Portland) will introduce the bill.

Dembrow has yet to return a phone call seeking comment. And the measure would be a tough sell in a a House evenly split and a Senate where Democrats have only a 16-14 advantage. But the groups that drafted the bill say it would provide comprehensive health benefits for every Oregon resident without co-payments or deductibles. Insurance companies would be forbidden from competing directly but could still provide benefits not covered under the plan.

Critics have blasted the national health-care bill because it lacks any meaningful cost controls and does not cover all Americans. But states have been encouraged by the feds to experiment with their own programs. And any state that passes single-payer health care has the potential to see a huge economic revival once businesses realize they'll no longer be saddled with paying for employees' spiraling health costs.

Read a draft of the proposed bill here.
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