Opinion: Measure 105 Is Bad For Oregonians' Health

Northwest Health Foundations says the measure amounts to racial profiling that will lead more people to seek care in emergency rooms.

Our health shouldn’t depend on who we are. No one should be afraid to call their health-care provider for themselves or their kids because they think they’ll be sent to jail.

But if Measure 105 passes, everyday interactions with government: our schools, health-care clinics and neighborhood streets become places that could tear families apart.

If you or a member of your family are undocumented, you’ll think twice before doing the day-to-day things that Oregon families take for granted. Think of all the things that become hazardous because our local governments might profile you or your family: Dropping kids off at school could mean a run-in with local law enforcement. Calling 911 when you aren’t safe at home could change your family’s life forever. Signing your kids up for health insurance could expose data about your entire family.

When families avoid going to the doctor and dentist, relatively minor issues will develop into far more serious, and even life-threatening, illnesses. More people will seek health-care in emergency rooms – a costlier and less effective way to deliver healthcare.

This isn’t a recipe for health. This is racial profiling. It doesn’t make us safer or healthier.

That’s why we urge all Oregonians to vote NO on Measure 105 this November.

Zeenia Junkeer, ND

Director, Oregon Health Equity Alliance

 

Jen Matheson

Director of Programs, Northwest Health Foundation

 

Elaine McKenzie, RN, MPH

Vice-President of the Board, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

 

Teri Mills, RN, MS

Vice Chair of the Cabinet on Health Policy, Oregon Nurses Association

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