Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Northwest labor press. (Portland , Ore.) 1987-current | View Entire Issue (March 3, 2006)
Think Again •
By Tim Nesbitt
Free ads to subscribers
DEADLINE: Friday prior to publication
The ABCs of our health care crisis
e have more jobs in Oregon
than ever before. We also have
more Oregonians without health in-
surance than ever before.
Maybe this is why pollsters report
that health care has supplanted jobs
and education as the Number One
concern of Oregonians.
Our health care crisis is two-fold.
Too many people don’t have insur-
ance, and those who have it are pay-
ing more than they can afford in pre-
miums, co-pays and deductibles.
These two problems are connected,
and they’re both problems that our
government is going to have to solve.
The jobs problem was different.
Three years ago, politicians argued
over the best ways to grow jobs and
help Oregon climb out of the reces-
sion, even though there was not a lot
that the state could do to accelerate
the pace of economic recovery in the
short term. Some efforts helped at the
margins. Gov. Kulongoski’s trans-
portation package is producing the
jobs that he promised. But, we gained
jobs largely because of forces beyond
the control of state government.
Yet, the same market forces that
produced most of the new jobs during
the past three years encouraged em-
ployers to strip those jobs of health
benefits or shift more of their health
care costs to their workers. Employ-
ers like Wal-Mart gain an economic
advantage over their competitors, like
Fred Meyer and Safeway, by chisel-
ing on health benefits. The market is
rewarding bad employers for doing
the wrong thing and penalizing good
employers for doing the right thing.
This is why, for the almost two mil-
lion Oregonians who get their health
care from a job, the trends are not our
friends. And this is why we need our
government to step in.
Look at how our population is di-
vided by health care coverage. For
every 100 Oregonians:
A Rewarding Job Serving
Working Families in Oregon
Union Plus Mortgage is HIRING!
Korean War Veterans
organization is looking for new
members. The group meets the
4th Tuesday each month
(March 28), at noon at
Milwaukie Elks Lodge,
13121 SE McLoughlin Blvd.
For more information, call
Max Loucks at 503-286-1464
52 get their health care coverage
from their jobs or a family member’s
17 have no health insurance.
11 are disabled or poor enough to
qualify for the Oregon Health Plan.
15 are seniors covered by
5 pay for their own health insur-
Category A is shrinking and Cate-
gory B is growing as employers aban-
don or reduce their support for health
insurance. More than half of all Ore-
gonians without health insurance
come from households with a full-
time worker. But Category C is
shrinking too, because government is
running out of money. And, as we
pour more of our tax dollars into Cat-
egory C, we tend to create more in-
centives for employers to abandon
their health plans and tell their work-
ers to sign up for government bene-
fits. This is why some Category C so-
lutions are not sustainable. Gov-
ernment pays more, employers pay
less, and then government has to pay
more again to make up for declining
Given this scenario, we need to fo-
cus on boosting employer coverage in
Category A, which could potentially
cut in half the number of uninsured in
Category B. One way to do that is to
require that all employers above a cer-
tain size provide health care for their
workers or pay into a state fund for
health care. Another way: Govern-
ment can help employers who provide
good benefits by offering re-insurance
against extraordinary catastrophic
But government needs to supple-
ment employer efforts as well. We
just need to be smarter about how we
use our tax dollars in Category C. We
could expand coverage for children,
more than 100,000 of whom are with-
out insurance from their working par-
ents, by raising cigarette taxes to
for the BEST flowers call
broaden the Oregon Health Plan.
Still, this idea, embraced by Kulon-
goski and a number of state lawmak-
ers, could encourage more employers
and workers to abandon health insur-
ance for children, which is why it’s at
best a temporary safety net.
California Congressman Pete
Stark has a better idea: Expand
Medicare (Category D, above) to
cover all children. We could do this by
increasing the Medicare payroll tax
paid by employers and workers by
one percent each. This would also
help good employers who pay for full
family coverage and reduce costs for
working families who have to pay
high premiums to cover their kids. If
the federal government doesn’t do
this, states can do it on their own.
The Oregon AFL-CIO drafted
such a plan three years ago, estimat-
ing that a payroll tax of less two per-
cent shared by employers and work-
ers could guarantee health coverage
for every child in Oregon.
These are just steps on the road to
universal health care. But they are fea-
sible and effective in the short term,
and they will prove that government
can help solve our health care crisis.
Plus, these steps lead logically to a
more sustainable health care system
in which employers finance health
care for all working people and gov-
ernment provides health care through
Medicare-style programs for the non-
working population of seniors, chil-
dren, the disabled and the unem-
ployed. Such a system will be cheaper
(by reducing administrative costs),
fairer (by requiring equal support
from all employers) and better (by
The only other alternative is Cate-
gory E above: Pay for your own
Tim Nesbitt is a former president of
the Oregon AFL-CIO.
Southgate Mobile & RV Park
Published 1st and 3rd Fridays
NW Labor Press, PO Box 13150,
Portland, OR 97213
Spaces Available up to 35’
BUREAU OF LABOR & INDUSTRIES
Principal Executive/Manager C Apprenticeship & Training Division
Apprenticeship & Training Council and to various state,
federal, and local governments. This person is also re-
sponsible for establishing statewide industrial com-
mittees as directed. Salary is $3,287-$4,840/month.
For Announcement #LE060080 and to obtain an ap-
plication packet, call 971-673-0783 (Portland) or visit
www.oregonjobs.org. Closing date for all applications
is March 20, 2006.
NORTHWEST LABOR PRESS
• 15 words or less
• Include address label from front
page and telephone number
• Sorry, we cannot accept ads over
• No commercial or business ads
• 1 ad per issue
• Type or print legibly
Classified ads MUST include area code on all phone numbers or they will
not be published
’96 HONDA ODYSSEY EX, leather seats, 6 pass
van, no sliding doors, sun roof, new tires, muffler
& timing belt regularly maintained w/records,
209k miles, runs wonderfully, $4,900. 503 350-
’87 FORD BRONCO II, 4wd, as is, parts or you
repair, $250. 503 629-5956
’98 EXPLORER BLUE, XLT, 57k miles, $8,500;
’79 Tahiti, 454 Berkeley Jet, project, $3,500. 503
FIBERGLASS TRUCK canopy, sliding windows,
color match Chevrolet Indigo Blue, 58” x 75”,
$325. 503 642-7627
MECHANIC SPECIAL, ’89 Ford Aerostar van,
needs fuel pump, $450 OBO. 503 287-9788
’76 JEEP J10 truck, 4x4, inline 6 cyl, nice runs
good, $2,000 OBO. 503 231-1208
OCEANFRONT VACATION rental, Rockaway
Oregon, 3 bed, sleeps 8, all amenities, $175
night. 503 842-9607
MF HOME, Milwaukie, nice clean, dbl wide, 2
bed, 2 bath, low rent, quiet, 55+ park, $15,000.
SEASIDE 2BED 1 bath, 1.5 blocks to ocean,
sleeps 6, no smoking, no pets, available Spring
Break, $95 nite. 503 667-4097
OLD WOODWORKING tools, planes, levels,
chisels, folding rules, handsaws, spoke shaves,
slicks, adzes, tool chests. 503 659-0009
OLD LOGGING cross cut saws, old axes, wood-
working hand tools, hammers. 503 819-3736
19’ FORD SPOKE wheels, must be straight. 503
WOODEN CAROUSEL horse, call after 3 p.m., 7
days a week. 360 256-7810
matching chairs, ex shape, $135. 503 775-0379
’90 HERITAGE SOFTAIL, S & S carb – Python
pipes, Crane Hi-4 Ing, Andrews EV-27 cam, nice
bike. 503 257-7390 (leave message)
RIGHT HANDED golf clubs, steel, reg flex,
Hogan Apex H40 3-P, Cleveland TA5 3-5, $150
each. 503 259-2586
’89 WINNEBAGO, 24’, good cond, 33k miles,
new batteries/tires, $10,000 OBO. 503 648-5921
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
’84 BP 4 HORSE trailer, good cond, new tires,
$3,500. 541 447-0409
’85 HONDA ODYSSEY dune buggy, fully re-
stored, dirt, sand tires, $2,995 or trade. 503 925-
’04 KAWASAKI 700V, 697cc automatic w/re-
verse, must sell to buy new toy, $5,500. 503 774-
OLD BOOKS 1917 – 1900. 503 657-7058
CLOSED SHOP, Whitney Model 630 single sta-
tion punch w/tooling, $8000; Cobra Alum weld-
ing machine, w/or w/o Linde Power Souvie. 503
RAT-A-POO puppies, ready 3/10, small & cud-
dly, tri-colored, $350 each. 360 606-4775
EIGHT BUCKSKIN tanned deer hides, $10 each,
all for $75. 503 598-8994
ORDER NOW, 2 m mini uncut Pigmy goats,
ready 3/27/06, u-c $100 each, we cut, $245
each. 503 695-5819
PORTABLE BASKETBALL hoop, $75, resin
table w/4 chairs, $25; 2 35 gal new plastic cans
w/lids, $5 each. 503 653-1289
ELECTRIC HYDRAULIC press, $15. 503 252-
12” RADIAL ARM saw, have extra blades, $250.
DSS SATELLITE DISH, box and remote, make
offer, Troutdale. 503-669-5324
For the Home
LOVELY WING-BACK damask green chair, $35;
white marble-top coffee table, $40. 503 665-5292
HOME ENTERTAINMENT CENTER, 53h 55w
up to 32” TV, call for description, $75. 360 254-
NEW/USED FIBERGLASS insulation, R19, ap-
prox 800 sf, take it all for $50 OBO. 503 629-0564
DINING TABLE, glass and brass, pedestal, 42”, 4
7911 SE 82nd Ave.
1638 NE Broadway, Portland
The Portland office has an opening for an Operations
Manager who will provide leadership to a team of pro-
fessional Apprenticeship Representatives and motivate,
coach, counsel, train, evaluate, and manage their per-
formance. The Operations Manager is also responsible
for supporting apprenticeship committees that oversee
registered apprenticeship programs and providing
technical support and education to the Oregon State
• Haven’t filed for...years?
• Lost records?
• Liens - Levies - Garnishments?
• Negotiate settlements.
• Retiring? Have questions?
Call Nancy D. Anderson
Enrolled Agent/Tax Practitioner
L EGAL P ROBLEMS ??
For $16 a month
❖ Unlimited toll-free phone
consultation with attorneys.
❖ A comprehensive will with
yearly updates is included.
❖ Representation for traffic tickets,
accidents, criminal, and civil suits.
❖ Coverage on IRS tax audits.
❖ Divorce, child custody, bank-
ruptcy and many more benefits.*
THESE LEGAL SERVICES
ARE PROVIDED BY THE
VERY BEST LAW FIRMS
IN OREGON & WASHINGTON.
* Some services not 100% covered
or toll-free at
MARCH 3, 2006