February 22, 2008

Oregon Medical Association Announces Endorsement of Senator Ron Wyden's Healthy Americans Act

Portland, OR - The 7,300-member Oregon Medical Association today announced its endorsement of Oregon Senator Ron Wyden's Healthy Americans Act that would provide health care to all Americans.

"The Healthy Americans Act is a bi-partisan bill that provides an opportunity to bring health care policy in the United States in line with the rest of the industrialized world," OMA President Klaus Martin, M.D. said at a joint news conference with Senator Wyden and other OMA officials. "Our endorsement is a measure of how much we, the physicians of Oregon and our patients appreciate all Senator Wyden's effort to solve the Medicare funding crisis, and his eagerness to work with Oregon physicians and the American Medical Association to address health care reform through this bill.

"The Healthy Americans Act will be a great relief for millions of Americans who are afraid of losing their medical coverage when they change employment," Dr. Martin said. "This act will ensure continued medical coverage, irrespective of a person's health status. It will free the American entrepreneurial spirit and allow workers to advance without fear of losing their health insurance coverage. The proposed Act will also protect American families from financial ruin due to adverse catastrophic illness or injury."

Senator Wyden and co-sponsor Senator Robert Bennett (R-Utah) have bipartisan support for the Healthy Americans Act, which will get employers out of the business of providing health care for their workers, require Americans to buy a basic health insurance policy for themselves, reduce health care costs, slash health care paperwork and create bold incentives for more preventive care

"Today, the primary relationship in health care is between employers and their insurance companies. Under the Healthy American Act, the primary relationship in health care will be between the patients and their physicians," Wyden said in thanking the OMA for its support. "The OMA's voices carry a tremendous amount of weight with health care providers and patients, and I'm deeply appreciative of their support."

The OMA endorsement followed by an address on health care to the Portland City Club ended a weeklong tour of the state in which Wyden talked with and to Oregonians about their health care needs and about the Healthy Americans Act.

"Americans are tired of waiting for politicians to do something about health care reform," Wyden said. "The Oregonians I heard from this week asked me to push forward, and that's what I plan to do."