-What do you think about health care and the Affordable Care Act?
Genevieve: “Health is about so much more than health care. It happens in the spaces where we live, work, play, and pray. It is affected by our income, race, gender, sexual orientation, and so many other identities. Access to affordable health care will not alleviate all of our problems, but it will at least help level the playing field. Primary care is an essential piece of the puzzle, and something we all deserve access to. The affordable care act is a step in the right direction, toward better access and improved population health.”
-Gen works and thrives at http://coalitionclinics.org.
Lauren: “I think the Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. My hope is that the ACA marks the beginning of a shift in our nation’s collective thinking, from a view of healthcare access as a privilege to a belief that it is a human right.”
-Lauren is about to start her 3rd year at OHSU School of Medicine. She has worked in underserved medicine and addiction health care.
What do you think about health care reform?
“I was hoping they’d (referencing health insurance) pay for my dentures, but they won’t. I broke them at work and I get health care after 90 days, but I’ve only been there 45 days so far. My dentures cost $375 and I have $230 saved up so far. I’m saving up my money for dentures, that’s why I eat at picnic in the park. Also they say, I make ‘too much money’ for food stamps.”
“I think that Oregon does a better job than most states with health care, but it’s still not perfect. There are pieces I may not agree with, but it’s great that we are trying to cover more people. So overall, health care in Oregon is good.”
What do you think about healthcare?
“Healthcare is necessary and needed…maybe we should copy France.”
What has your experience been?
“My experience is if I treat people nice, nice things happen. If I’m bad to people, bad things happen. Oregon is awesome! I’m homeless, but people will help you. I used to do drugs and sell drugs. The head of the Mentor program saved my life. The problem was with me. Once I addressed my problems, things got better. I got tired of fighting the system. OHSU helped a lot.”
“What do you think about health care?”
-“Health care? It’s pretty awesome! I love it. I have family care for the whole pregnancy and I was sent to OHSU. I love OHSU… They accept me being homeless.”
“How has it been being homeless and pregnant?”
– “For me it’s ok, but my husband has to deal with me yelling at him sometimes. It’s hard to find housing in Portland.”
“Where do you usually sleep?”
– “We stay under the Hawthorne bridge or in a tent city.”