Voters in Oregon pass health care measure

Ella Castle

Oregon voters have narrowly passed a measure that decrees health care a human right. Measure 111 makes Oregon the first state in the nation to change its constitution to explicitly declare affordable health care a fundamental right. A patient is tended to by a nurse in the intensive care unit […]

Oregon voters have narrowly passed a measure that decrees health care a human right.

Measure 111 makes Oregon the first state in the nation to change its constitution to explicitly declare affordable health care a fundamental right.

A patient is tended to by a nurse in the intensive care unit at Oregon Health and Science University on Portland, Ore., Aug. 19, 2021. Oregon voters have approved Measure 111, which requires the state to recognize access to health care as a "fundamental right."

A patient is tended to by a nurse in the intensive care unit at Oregon Health and Science University on Portland, Ore., Aug. 19, 2021. Oregon voters have approved Measure 111, which requires the state to recognize access to health care as a “fundamental right.”

Kristyna Wentz-Graff / OPB

The amendment reads: “It is the obligation of the state to ensure that every resident of Oregon has access to cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable health care as a fundamental right.”

It does not define “cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable,” nor does it say who would foot the bill.

The Oregon Health Authority says 94% of Oregonians currently have insurance coverage and more are eligible for the Oregon Medicaid plan or a subsidy to reduce the cost of commercial insurance.

Opponents have said the amendment could trigger legal and political challenges.

Measure 111 explained, a slideshow:

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