Oregon has a long history of inequitable resource allocation and racism, and it continues to have a profound effect on people of color, low-income communities, and other underserved populations in the state: Health outcomes in these communities are far worse than they are among white, affluent Oregonians. The Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA) has a long history of working to highlight these disparities and change them through policy advocacy. That’s why they’re supporting Measure 97.
The Healthy Oregon Report recently published by OHEA identifies many of the inequities facing these communities, and makes clear the need to address these problems. Racial disparities persist in all aspects of health in Oregon, from access to reliable care, to illnesses and death rates. Simply put, all racial groups in Oregon are amidst a public health crisis, and we can’t afford to wait for change any longer.
“After decades of disinvestment in our public services, Oregon requires a more significant and sustainable source of revenue to realize our shared values of health and prosperity. Our communities are growing and becoming more racially and culturally diverse, and profound new investments are needed to ensure all our children and our grandchildren, regardless of where they were born and who they are, have the rights, resources, and recognition, needed to thrive.”
-A Healthy Oregon: 21st Century Health Equity Investments August 2016
Fortunately, there is a viable solution to these health disparities. Measure 97 would go a long way toward allowing Oregon to make the health care investments that would address these problems and allow all Oregonians to live healthy and happy lives.
With better resources for health care, we can improve outcomes for all Oregonians.