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Think Out Loud

Gauging The State Of Healthcare At OHSU

March 11, 2013 7:30 p.m.

Portland's largest private employer, Oregon Health & Science University, recently announced a hiring freeze. Chief financial officer, Lawrence Furnstahl says while there will be some select hiring for critical staff, the freeze is necessary to contain costs. Since most federal research money comes from discretionary spending, sequestration is hitting OHSU and other research institutions hard, Furnstahl says. OHSU relies on the federal government for about 40 percent of its two billion dollar budget. Furnstahl told the Portland Business Journal that the uncertainty of federal funds and the rising cost of public employee retirement benefits are prompting OHSU to do some serious belt-tightening.

Think Out Loud

Getting Mental Healthcare To Transition Age Youth

Jan. 9, 2013 8:06 p.m.

After the mall shooting deaths of two people at Clackamas Town Center and the incomprehensible loss of 20 young children and seven adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, we're looking into some of the potential ways to prevent such tragedies. We've discussed security in schools, mental health resources for parents and kids, and most recently, gun laws. On this show, we'll find out what kind of mental health care is available to youth ages 16-25, also called "Transition Age Youth." That's generally the age range of those who commit these kinds of unspeakable acts of violence. And it's the age group that several years ago, the state found was 80 percent less likely (pdf) to get the mental health care they need compared with other age groups. 

Think Out Loud

Providing Healthcare For Transgender Oregonians

Jan. 6, 2015 8:06 p.m.

This January, Oregon joined a small group of states where transgender people can get health care coverage for gender dysphoria.

Think Out Loud

Obama's Healthcare Compromise

Feb. 10, 2012 5:50 p.m.

The Obama administration has announced a new compromise for contraceptive coverage for women working for religiously affiliated employers. Under the new plan employers like charities or hospitals with religious affiliations will not be required to pay for contraceptive coverage.

Think Out Loud

Healthcare News Update

June 10, 2014 7:45 p.m.

We check in with The Lund Report's executive editor about Cover Oregon, hospital mergers, health insurance rates, and more.

Think Out Loud

President Obama Speaks on Russia, Healthcare and the Economy

Aug. 9, 2013 8:06 p.m.

President Obama will hold a press conference today at noon. Topics will include Russian relations, Edward Snowden and the state of the economy. We'll have reactions to the speech with our News Roundtable immediately following the press conference.

Think Out Loud

Live from Salem

June 9, 2011 4:06 p.m.

Time is running out for lawmakers to accomplish everything on their legislative to-do lists. Budget decisions along with health care changes are still among the live issues as the session enters the home stretch. Changes to the public employee retirement system (PERS) is one issue that seemed to be at the top of the list even before the session began. Lawmakers came in with lots of ideas about how to change the system. Now, it looks like many of those ideas are not coming to fruition, but it's not over until the final gavel falls. The City Club of Portland isn't waiting around. The civic organization just came out with a report (pdf) with a number of recommendations for PERS reform, which will most likely have to wait until the next session. Another bill that has moved forward recently would streamline certain kinds of construction projects. Opponents of liquified natural gas (LNG) raised concerns about the bill, which the governor is expected to sign next week. Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford) tried to insert a last-minute amendment that would have made it impossible for LNG projects to benefit from the bill. The amendment was defeated, but Bates says he's considering bringing it up in the next session.

Think Out Loud

Living Without Health Insurance

June 27, 2011 4:15 p.m.

Kristen Van Tuyl went hiking with her husband and six-year-old daughter recently. When they came upon a particularly treacherous part of the trail, Kristen hesitated. She doesn't have health insurance, though her husband and daughter do. She says this was what was on her mind when she told her family to "go on ahead," while she took a safer route and met up with them on the other side. Living without health insurance is something millions of people face each day. The 2009 National Health Interview Survey showed 46.3 million Americans under 65 were uninsured. While these are the most recent figures, the number of uninsured Americans has been on the rise for years and it's probably safe to assume that trend will continue as the economy continues to slowly recover from the recession. People have all sorts of reasons for not having health insurance, but cost is by far the biggest factor.

Think Out Loud

Supreme Court Hears Health Care Challenge

Nov. 15, 2011 5:06 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the Obama administration's health care overhaul. Lower courts around the country have heard the case and decided different ways, with the 11th Circuit Court finding it unconstitutional. The high court will take up the 11th Circuit's decision. In a remarkable move, the Supreme court scheduled five and a half hours (instead of the usual one hour) for the arguments in March. Before the Supreme Court term began, we discussed the possibility of the case being heard with law professor and Supreme Court watcher, Lisa McElroy. Now that the justices have indeed taken the case, we'll check back in with her about the specific issues they'll be looking at and the impact their ruling — one way or the other — is expected to have.

Think Out Loud

Greg Walden

Sept. 12, 2011 4:06 p.m.

Following our Summer Recess series, we speak with Republican Representative Greg Walden. Walden grew up on a cherry orchard in the Dalles. He was a member of the Oregon House and Senate, and owned and ran radio stations along the Columbia Gorge before being elected to Congress in 1999. He has always been one of the few — and now the only — Republican Representative from Oregon. But that hasn't stopped him from rising in the party. In February of last year he was appointed as chairman of the House Republican Leadership. David Wasserman, House editor for The Cook Political Report explains Walden's role this way:

Walden isn’t one of the top names in Washington that you typically hear. When you think of House Republicans you think of John Boehner. You think of Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy, but within the Republican Congress Walden is seen as more of a work horse and not a show horse and that’s earned him a lot of friends.
Walden advocates for creating jobs, decreasing government regulations, and improving rural healthcare access. He voted to approve the final debt deal, to extend the Patriot Act, and to repeal the healthcare overhaul. Recently he sponsored a bill preventing the FCC from regulating net neutrality. But even as a key Republican, he is considered by some to be not conservative enough — a trait that some people think could put him at an advantage if he ever runs for governor (which he considered last year). As the Republican presidential candidates make front page news, the discussion around job creation becomes central, and the anniversary of Sept. 11 leaves many Americans wondering about the safety and security of the country — there is certainly plenty to talk to Representative Walden about.   

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Kitzhaber Hopeful About Waivers From Federal Healthcare Law

March 2, 2011 1:13 p.m.

Governor John Kitzhaber says Oregon will soon test the Obama Administration’s flexibility in healthcare policy.

News | local | Health | Vital Signs

Oregon Counting On Numbers To Help Track Healthcare Reform

March 21, 2013 1:27 p.m.

A year from now, how will the state know if health care reforms are working? By tracking a host of measures, and watching to see if they improve.

News | local | Nation | Health | Vital Signs

Study: Affordable Care Act Has Provided 71M With Healthcare

March 18, 2013 8:58 p.m.

It's been three years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act.

local | Health | Vital Signs

Consumers Might Get Healthcare Refunds Under the Affordable Care Act

June 20, 2012 6 a.m.

One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act is to cut the cost of health insurance administration. And to do that, the law sets limits on how much companies can spend things like bonuses, salaries and marketing. Failure to meet those limits could result in a refund for consumers. 

Economy | Politics | Health | News

Few Problems At Healthcare.Gov For Oregonians - So Far

Nov. 17, 2014 7:21 p.m.

Oregon's trouble with health insurance exchanges could be over. Enrollment at opened this weekend and so far, it appears to be running smoothly.


Healthcare Act Ends 'Lifetime Limits' For 1.3 Million Oregonians

March 5, 2012 4:31 p.m.

The nation's new health reform law has ended "lifetime limits" for more than 1.3 million Oregonians, according to a new federal report.


Oregon Healthcare 'Lottery' Draws Names

May 21, 2010 2:49 p.m.

Oregon's so-called healthcare "lottery" is drawing names Friday.

local | Health

Health Authority Tries To Sort Out The Benefits Of New Healthcare Laws

Sept. 13, 2010 6 a.m.

The Oregon Health Authority is holding a meeting in Portland  Monday  to gather public input on how to put new federal healthcare laws into effect.

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