Healthcare of Hundreds of Thousands Potentially at Risk with Trump Presidency

An alarmed Health Chairman Rep. Mitch Greenlick said the economy would be at risk if President-Elect Trump pulls the plug on the Affordable Care Act and kills the Medicaid expansion.

America and Oregon could be headed for some forlorn days if President-Elect Trump acts on the Republican dream of repealing the Affordable Care Act, cutting thousands of people off from access to healthcare and drying up a pipeline of money into the state healthcare system.

The Medicaid waiver could also be in doubt, upending decades of progress in Oregon to improve its healthcare system for people who cannot afford insurance.

“It’s going to cause enormous disruption to the Oregon economy,” said Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, the chairman of the Health Committee. He added that the defeat of Measure 97 will leave Oregon unable to save the Medicaid program if the federal government kills the Medicaid expansion.

Rep. Rob Nosse, D-Portland, was hopeful that Trump would see the wisdom of the waiver: “We’re the only ones out there that’s got anything, that’s improving care and saving money. Is he stupid?”

Greenlick, who is ethnically Jewish, darkly compared the election to the collapse of the Weimar Republic, and worries about the fate of Muslim Americans. “It really reminded me of Germany in 1932,” he said.

He then shifted to a more positive scenario.

“There’s going to be Republican senators and representatives who will not put up with his craziness. There will be a positive majority (countering the president).”

On the Oregon front, Greenlick said he was pleasantly surprised that the House Democrats appear to have held every seat up for re-election, citing in particular the open Woodburn seat won by Teresa Alonso Leon, the first Latina to be elected to the Legislature from Marion County.

“They really mobilized the Latino vote in Woodburn,” he said.  “I think it was amazing we kept every seat we had -- I didn’t think we would do that.”

The Senate Democrats seem poised to lose one seat as former Ashland Mayor Alan DeBoer hangs onto a 0.8 percent lead over Democratic opponent Tonia Moro to fill the seat vacated upon the death of Sen. Alan Bates, D-Medford. The Democrats will lose their Senate supermajority if DeBoer maintains his lead.

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