A report by Progressive Future and the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center listed I-1000 as one of the best voter initiatives in the United States this year (you can see their full report in PDF form here). This is good news for several reasons, one of which being that progressive groups are seeing the value of promoting liberty as the road to achieving the goals that progressives want to achieve. If you go through the report, you’ll see that a number of the initiatives were chosen because of an emphasis on limiting government interference with our decisions. That’s how the progressive movement can succeed in this country.
In addition to this endorsement, former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber cleared up another piece of propaganda being spread around by I-1000 opponents:
You may have seen the story of a woman on the Oregon Health Plan that makes the insinuation that services covered under Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act are prioritized over chemotherapy because it costs less for patients to die than to live. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Unfortunately, a poorly worded letter to this individual contributed to that mistaken impression. Since then, the political campaign against I-1000 has made it difficult for the public to get the facts. I would like to set the record straight.
Like most insurers, the OHP covers nearly all chemotherapy prescribed for cancer patients, including the multiple rounds of chemotherapy this patient received. The request for second-line treatment was denied because of the drug’s limited benefit and very high cost.
When the Oregon Health Plan went into effect in 1994, it was backed by principles that remain relevant today, including a process for setting health care priorities that reflects a consensus of social values and considers the good of society as a whole.
As I’ve explained previously, the argument that we must limit our choices out of fear of what could happen within our broken health care system is pure folly. It’s no different than saying that we should outlaw abortion because it could allow for health care providers to cover abortions but not cover the cost of having the child. As Kitzhaber points out, the hysteria whipped by the I-1000 opposition is completely baseless. Patients in Oregon are not at risk of being told that they won’t receive proper health care because of their death with dignity law, and neither will patients in Washington.