Oregon’s House of Representatives passes HOPE amendment on Health Care

20 March 2018
Nurses, legislators and community leaders support state constitutional amendment to recognize health care as a human right
The Oregon House of Representatives made history on 13 February 2018, voting to pass the HOPE amendment to amend Oregon’s Constitution and recognize health care as a fundamental right.

The amendment will advance to the Oregon Senate. If the Senate passes the HOPE amendment, it will be referred to Oregon voters in the November 2018 general election. Oregon Nurses’ Association (ONA/AFT) members praised the vote as a historic step to acknowledge and protect Oregonians’ basic rights.

“Today’s vote confirms what Oregonians already know: everyone deserves access to affordable health care,” said ONA nurse practitioner and business owner Diane Solomon. "Access to health care is essential to sustain a thriving state and a healthy economy. The HOPE amendment ensures our families and neighbors can get the care they need, when they need it, without worrying about going bankrupt. Oregon has led health care innovations for decades and we can’t go back. It's time to move forward to expand health care access and protect basic rights for all Oregonians.”

ONA member and nurse educator Teri Mills said,

“As a nurse, I’ve seen access to health care dramatically improve the lives of thousands of Oregonians. In the face of national threats to health care, we need to stabilize our health care system so all Oregonians have access to affordable care.”

On 7 February, more than 100 ONA members, community leaders, health experts and lawmakers showed their support for the HOPE amendment during a public hearing at the State Capitol. Following testimony from supporters, the House Health Care Committee voted to approve the HOPE amendment and advance it to the full House of Representatives. The House voted to pass the amendment on 13 February.

The HOPE Amendment currently has 40 sponsors in the Oregon Legislature. The ONA is the state’s largest and most influential nursing organization. It is a professional association and labor union which represents nearly 15,000 nurses across the state. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities.

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Read the HOPE Amendment (HJR 203).

Read on the ONA website

 

This article is an extract from the “Right to Health” newsletter issue 04 (April/May 2018). Subscribe to the newsletter. Send us your stories.

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