Health Care

Fix-It: The Health Care Tipping Point


Unless you’re part of the 1%, the problems surrounding our healthcare system are felt by everyone. CEO Richard Master brings a new voice to the table for healthcare reform with his documentary “Fix it: Healthcare at the Tipping Point”. Masters owns a picture frames company called MCS Industries Inc out of Pennsylvania. His company is worth $200 million annually and he recognizes that the business world needs to take on the healthcare system that is out of control.

“My company now pays $1.5 million a year to provide access to healthcare for our workers and their dependents,” Master  said. “When I investigated where all the money goes, I was shocked.”

About ⅓ of every dollar spent on health care is eaten up by administrative costs. Meanwhile 1.4 million Americans file bankruptcy each year due to medical bills. About ¼ of Americans don’t get the health care they need in our current system of rationed care.

“As a result of this waste and inefficiency, our total spending on health care soared above $3 trillion in 2014. More than 17 percent of our national GDP is now eaten up by health care costs, far more than any other country.”

‘Fix It’ investigates health care reform from the place of the boardroom rather than the picket line. It’s a look at how the healthcare industry squelches business and the jobs that could grow out of it, if businesses paid less on health care, while making a point that it’s a public good to have access to that care in the first place.

Master spoke about how much of their company’s profits were eaten up by the extreme costs of providing healthcare for employees and their dependants. “We had to watch every penny of overhead. Every penny, every half penny on this product. And the one area that was so confounding was healthcare costs,” he said.

This film examines how our multi payer system of healthcare costs more and provides much less than a single payer system could. Some of the nation’s leading health care policy makers are interviewed in the film including Dr. Don Berwick, former administrator of the Center for Medicaid and Medicaid Services and Dr. Theodore Marmor, Professor Emeritus, Public Policy at Yale University as well as a host of other doctors, nurses and medical specialists.

Would you like a free DVD copy of “Fix it– Health Care Beyond the Tipping Point”? If you are willing to host a screening of the film, you can get a free copy of the film at



Whooping Cough alert for Ashland Middle School

jackson-county-oregonThe Jackson County Health  Department is alerting Ashland residents that students from Ashland Middle School have been diagnosed with Pertussis. Pertussis, also called “Whooping Cough”, is a disease caused by a bacteria and is easily spread from person to person.  It can cause serious complications, especially for infants, pregnant women in their third trimester, and people with compromised immune systems.

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Get health care coverage in a SNAP!

by Virginia Camberos

January brings cold nights, morning fog, and hard times for a lot of hard working families trying to make ends meet in Jackson County. Fortunately, life just got a little easier for Oregonians who get a little extra help from our state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and we want to make sure you know about it.

Did you know that the majority of folks who qualify for SNAP also qualify for the Oregon Health Plan? If you’re an uninsured SNAP participant and you qualify for the Oregon Health Plan, you should have already gotten a letter in the mail with a short two-page form to give your consent. It’s not too late to enroll, even if you have lost the letter.

Over one hundred thousand Oregonians have already filled out their form, and as of January 1, they now have access to prescription drugs, checkups, emergencies and hospital visits – they’re all covered. That means a truly healthier new year for thousands of Jackson County residents – especially those who have never had access to healthcare before.

It can be tough for folks to pay medical bills out of pocket. Unexpected medical bills can drive hard working families into debt. That’s why it’s more important now than ever to make sure you and your family gets health insurance so that you can get the care you need, when you need it, without breaking the bank.

If you are on SNAP and think you are eligible for Oregon Health Plan, but lost your letter or didn’t receive one, call 1-800-699-9075 – there are people who can help in both English and Spanish. There’s no cost to join, and you can’t be turned away for having a pre-existing condition so make sure you sign up.

Even if you don’t receive assistance from the SNAP program, you can still apply to see if you qualify for free or low-cost health coverage through Cover Oregon, our state’s new health care exchange. Financial assistance is available to many families earning too much to qualify for the Oregon Health Plan, such as tax credits to help offset the cost of buying insurance. And the best part is that you don’t have to figure it out alone. We are here to provide assistance and answer your questions. Call our office at 541-772-4029 to make an appointment for free assistance applying for health coverage.

Virginia Camberos is regional organizer and Michelle Glass is outreach director for Rogue Valley Oregon Action, an advocacy group on economic issues affecting working people.