Vote yes on Measure 101 in January’s Special Election 

Vicente is like hundreds of thousands of Oregonians—if it weren’t for the Oregon Health Plan, he simply would not have access to affordable health care.

Vicente, who identifies as non-binary transgender masculine, is a musician living in Southeast Portland. He plays classic acoustic and jazz guitar and works as a server to make ends meet.

In the spring of 2016, he began experiencing severe abdominal pain, causing nausea and painful breathing. The symptoms were so debilitating that he was unable to come into work, almost losing his job.

As a low-wage worker, Vicente is enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan. He was able to see a doctor, who discovered he had hereditary gallbladder disease and needed surgery to remove his gallbladder.

After completing surgery, he spent three weeks recovering at home, and returned to the workforce. Had his gallbladder not been removed, it could have ruptured, leading to a severe and life-threatening blood infection. 

“OHP is lifesaving for me,” Vicente said. “It would not have been possible for me to pay for the surgery, which cost more than $12,000. I am not sure what I would have done.”

Stories like Vicente’s are why Basic Rights Oregon works so hard to ensure that all Oregonians have access to affordable healthcare. The need is especially urgent for transgender Oregonians, who continue to face societal rejection and outright discrimination—leading more than 40 percent to attempt suicide in their lifetimes.

When transgender Oregonians have access to affordable and affirming healthcare, this suicide risk drops dramatically, and they are able to earn a living and make valuable contributions to our state. 

That’s why we’re supporting Measure 101 in January’s upcoming special election. To learn more about Measure 101, click here.

Ballots will be delivered by mail to registered Oregon voters the first week of January, and are due by January 23. Voting yes on Measure 101 means protecting healthcare for Oregon families – including 400,000 children, as well as seniors and people with disabilities – who otherwise couldn’t afford a doctor’s visit and are often forced to go to the emergency room when they get sick.

“Every Oregonian who cares about LGBTQ equality should vote yes on Measure 101,” says Basic Rights Oregon’s Co-Executive Director Nancy Haque. “Oregonians have worked hard to create a state that is inclusive and provides healthcare access to 100 percent of kids and 95 percent of adults, including LGBTQ Oregonians.”

All Oregonians deserve healthcare. Healthcare should be a right, not a privilege for selected people. Your income shouldn’t determine whether you can visit a doctor or nurse or get medicine when you’re sick. Measure 101 ensures that more hard-working Oregonians have healthcare they can afford.

If you agree, then help us spread the word about Measure 101 this January! Click here to sign up as a volunteer. We’ll be in touch soon to let you know how you can help.