Oregon lawmakers to vote on universal healthcare, lower drug prices

Oregon lawmakers are taking another pass at universal healthcare for the residents of state, according to a new report by The Register Guard. If SB 770 is passed, it will create a committee that would “design, implement and run a state health insurance plan.” 

Oregon is not the only state in the union to push for universal healthcare. A legislative committee in California heard proposals about how to achieve the goal of universal healthcare in the state. 

More than 35 state-level legislators are sponsors of the bill, which will allow residents who work full-time in Oregon to pay income tax, while simultaneously buying into the program. Financing of the program would come from a reserve held separately from the state’s general fund.

“This is just one step on the way to offering affordable healthcare to all Oregonians,” state Rep. Julie Fahey (D-Eugene), a chief co-sponsor of the bill, told The Register Guard.

Another high-profile bill the state legislature will vote on is SB 409—which will create a state committee to import drugs from Canada and offer them at a lower price to state pharmacies. The pharmacies will then pass those savings on to patients.

“I think that everyone believes that prescription drug prices are a huge problem,” said state Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D-Portland).

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