Oregon Voters May Decide If Health Care Is A Right

The Oregon Legislature is considering a measure that would allow Oregon voters to decide if health care should be a right under the state's constitution.

Senate Democrats approved Senate Joint Resolution 12, known as the HOPE Amendment. SJR 12 proposes that “health care as a human right” be added to the Oregon Constitution. The Resolution represents the legacy of the late and beloved Representative Mitch Greenlick who was also honored today on the Senate Floor with the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 3.

“Every Oregonian deserves access to cost-effective and clinically appropriate health care. Oregon’s Constitution should reflect that truth,” said Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego). “Representative Greenlick fought for this because it’s the right thing to do and because it’s what all people deserve. I’m happy and I’m relieved that SJR 12 passed today.”

Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D-Portland) carried SJR 12 on the Senate Floor and co-carried SCR 3. “As a family physician, I know the importance of adequate access to appropriate health care. Representative Greenlick fought for this because he knew that too,” she said. “Today, we took a critical step to bring his dream to fruition, and I couldn’t be more honored to carry this resolution. Oregonians know the significance of this concept and I’m grateful we will get to put the HOPE Amendment – a basic human right – in front of our voters.”

Republican Senator Tim Knopp criticized the resolution for not estimating the cost or having a source of funding.

Democratic Senator Betsy Johnson noted that it was eighth time the resolution had come before the legislature.

SJR 12 passed off the floor with 17 Aye votes and now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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