OPINION – Thank you for your article on State Senator Michael Dembrow’s HB 3260 study of healthcare financing in Oregon. I would like to elaborate on my comments quoted in the article.
We anticipate the study will be funded and underway when the February 2015 legislative session convenes, but it is unlikely to be complete. Therefore, we plan to ask the legislature to extend the completion deadline. We expect little opposition to this proposal.
The study will be completed later than originally planned. This does not reflect intrinsic flaws in fund-raising or the ability to perform the study, but rather naïve thinking on my part during initial planning of the study. Had we consulted with professional fund-raisers earlier, we would have extended the timetable by months.
Our funding goal is $200,000. This estimate is based on detailed discussions with organizations that performed similar studies in other states and with individuals who commissioned and paid for those studies. These estimates ranged from $80,000 to $200,000. To the best of my knowledge, none of the 19 studies performed by other states cost more than $300,000.
The $600,000 estimate mentioned in The Lund Report article probably came from Oregon’s Legislative Fiscal Office memo of April 16th, 2013. A member of that office said this estimate was generated quickly to meet a deadline a few hours later and consisted of a rapid back-of-the-envelope calculation from someone who had not performed such a study.
We feel our $200,000 goal is a well-founded estimate. We do not estimate the study will require $600,000.
Funding contributions continue to arrive. We are confident this study will be funded and completed in time to provide Oregon’s legislators and voters with the information they need to enact universal, cost-effective, sustainable healthcare in Oregon.
Readers who would like to learn more about the study or would like to contribute are encouraged to contact Sen. Dembrow or myself.
Samuel Metz is a Portland physician who collaborated with Sen. Dembrow and co-chief sponsor Rep. Jennifer Williamson in drafting HB 3260. He is a member of Physicians for a National Health Program and a founding member of Mad As Hell Doctors. Both organizations advocate for universal health care in Oregon and nationally. He can be reached at [email protected].
To learn more about the single healthcare study, click here.