Keep Oregon Weird

Perhaps you've seen the bumper sticker "Keep Portland Weird" but the truth is, the whole state seems to be a bit "off the rails". Two recent articles demonstrate just how forward looking the state's health system has become. Barbara Wagner's cancer came back and she was told by letter, "Treatment of advanced cancer that is meant to prolong life, or change the course of this disease, is not a covered benefit of the Oregon Health Plan." But the same letter "that it would cover palliative, or comfort, care, including, if she chose, doctor-assisted suicide" (emphasis mine).

If she were the only case one might figure it was a bureaucratic screw-up. Yet this not the case; Randy Stroup, 53-years-old found out a drug that could help make his last few months more bearable wasn't covered by the Oregon Health Plan. Like Barbara, he too, was offered coverage for suicide.

Oregon will stop living wage jobs for the sake of an owl. Oregon will try to rid rivers of dams and a cheap source of power for the sake of fish. Oregon will take money from the lower income people via, video poker in order to grow trees in Morrow County and bring movie production to the state. But we can't pay for chemo drugs. Why, because those people might feel better and that wouldn't be as cost effective as having them overdose and kill themselves. Now if that's not weird, I don't know what is.

By the way, the drug company gave Barbara the medicine she needed and the State of Oregon went back on its policy and covered Randy's drugs. It's still weird.


  1. Weird? Another word comes to mind: "Reprehensible."


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