Measure 35

Argument in Favor

Oregon Medical Insurance System is in Crisis…Again!

Lack of access to health care is a major problem. In Oregon, doctors' medical insurance costs have skyrocketed. We have been in this position before and we developed a common sense solution that worked.

Oregon History Show Caps Work

During the mid-1980s, medical insurance costs were skyrocketing and endangering doctors' ability to maintain their practices, much like the current situation. I was the incoming President of the Oregon Medical Association in 1987 and led the fight to reform our medical insurance system and protect our patients' access to health care. Realizing the danger, the Oregon Legislature passed sensible reform that placed a $500,000 cap on all non-economic damage awards. It was a bi-partisan solution addressing a crisis that delivered results.

From 1987 until 1999, the system worked exceptionally well and lowered liability insurance premiums, while still ensuring injured parties access to a jury trial and fair compensation for economic damages. In 1999 the limit was reversed by the Oregon Supreme Court and Oregonians once again found their health care access in jeopardy.

Oregon is now in the exact same crisis it was in the mid-1980s and we have come to the people to offer them the same solution that has already worked once for our state.

Caps on Non-Economic Damages Worked and
Will Work Again.

Caps lower medical insurance rates, lower overall health care costs, ensure full compensation for economic hardships for victims, and ensure that the next time a baby needs to be delivered there is a doctor there to do it.

Your Help is Needed to Save Oregon's Quality
Health Care System

As the former President of the Oregon Medical Association and an OB/GYN that has never been sued in 30 years of practice, I know how badly this is hurting our health care system. Please support Measure 35 and help keep doctors in Oregon.

Richard Allen, M.D.
Former President, 1988-1989
Oregon Medical Association

(This information furnished by Richard Allen, M.D., Former President 1988-1989, Oregon Medical Association.)


Argument in Favor

Measure 35 is Just What the Doctor Ordered

As President of the Oregon Medical Association, representing over 7,000 Oregon doctors, I urge you to please VOTE YES ON MEASURE 35.

Oregon's medical insurance system is in a state of crisis. Skyrocketing medical insurance rates are causing doctors to leave Oregon and/or limit the services they provide. We are having great difficulty recruiting new doctors into our state. The result is that all Oregonians are having difficulty accessing health care services. If we want to maintain our high level of care, we must take action now.

Measure 35 will help Oregon avert a pending disaster by reinstating a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages that previously worked in Oregon for over a decade. If passed, Measure 35 will:

If we do not act now, Oregonian's will continue to lose access to medical care. Here is what will happen if we allow greedy personal injury lawyers, and their misinformation, to maintain the status quo:

Supporting Measure 35 is just a clear cut case of "common sense." Vote to protect patient access, vote to protect the Oregon health care system…VOTE YES ON MEASURE 35!

John Moorhead, M.D.
President
Oregon Medical Association

(This information furnished by John Moorhead, M.D., President, Oregon Medical Association.)


Argument in Favor

Doctors, Nurses, Hospitals and Senior Services Providers
Support Measure 35

Our organizations represent doctors, nurses, hospitals and senior service providers…that is over 7,000 doctors, 10,000 nurses, 59 hospitals, and 500 senior care facilities that serve over 24,000 elderly and disabled individuals. We are urging you, on behalf of our members, to support Measure 35.

Medical Insurance Rates Driving Doctors Out Of Business

Right now Oregon is experiencing a medical insurance crisis. Medical insurance rates are skyrocketing and driving doctors and some nurse practitioners out of business. This means that the next time a baby needs to be delivered, a head trauma needs to be treated or someone is injured in rural Oregon, there may not be a health care professional there to help.

One way to regain control of the situation is to pass Measure 35 and reinstate a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages, a cap that worked in Oregon for over a decade.

Measure 35 Works in Oregon

Oregon Health Care Community Supports Measure 35

Oregon's health care providers have come together to protect our patients' access to health care and to make sure that our providers can continue to practice in Oregon. Please support our medical health care system by voting for Measure 35.

Jo Bryson, Executive Director
Oregon Medical Association

Susan King
Oregon Nurses Association

Ken Rutledge
Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems

James Carlson
Executive Director
Oregon Health Care Association

(This information furnished by Ken Rutledge, Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.)


Argument in Favor

There are some things we take for granted: eyesight is one of
them. Another is having access to a physician. Like our eyesight,
we probably won't miss our doctors until they are gone.

Don't let the current crisis become a disaster.

CAN YOU SEE THE PROBLEM?

IS IT CLEARER NOW?

The problem is coming into focus…

Unfortunately, medical malpractice laws favor lawyers over
both patient and physician. We can correct this by capping
non-economic damages at $500,000.

Oregonians deserve the best possible eye care from the
best-trained professionals. Help keep these professionals in
practice and in state,

VOTE YES ON 35!

Here at the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association we know
the value of clear vision. We can clearly see that the medical
tort system in Oregon is being abused by trial lawyers blind
to the impact their greed has had on the quality of health
care in Oregon. We have watched as our friends and
colleagues have been forced to stop high risk
procedures because the cost of malpractice
insurance is so high. Don't take your
physicians for granted because,
like your eyesight, they are
too dear to lose!

THE OREGON OPTOMETRIC PHYSICIANS ASSOCIATION

(This information furnished by Wayne Schumacher, Executive Director, Oregon Optometric Physicians Association.)


Argument in Favor

County Medical Societies Across Oregon
Supports Measure 35

Right now, patients throughout Oregon are in danger of losing access to critical health care services because doctors are being driven out of practice at an alarming rate. Skyrocketing medical insurance rates, caused by outrageous jury awards, are making it difficult for doctors to continue practicing…depriving you of vital care.

Measure 35 helps solve the problem by reinstating a cap system that worked in Oregon before…and will work again. The $500,000 cap enacted by this measure will help ensure reasonable jury awards for subjective items, like emotional pain and suffering, while ensuring fair compensation for all economic hardships. Measure 35 is just common sense.

The County Medical Societies of Oregon represent the practicing doctors of Oregon, we urge you to VOTE YES ON MEASURE 35!

Central Oregon Medical Society
Clackamas County Medical Society
Clatsop County Medical Society
Curry County Medical Society
Lane County Medical Society
Malheur County Medical Society
Marion-Polk County Medical Society
Medical Society of Metropolitan Portland
Washington County Medical Society

(This information furnished by Jim Kronenberg, Oregon Medical Association.)


Argument in Favor

Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems
Support Measure 35

Help Medical Providers Protect Your Access to Health Care

Oregon's hospitals support Measure 35. You should, too.

Measure 35 would help protect your access to health care by placing a $500,000 limit on non-economic damages, which include things like emotional pain and suffering.

Measure 35 does nothing to take away a jury's ability to award compensation to victims for their economic hardships, such as lost wages, medical expenses, child care costs and any other future costs that must be incurred because of an injury.

The question of medical insurance is complex and confusing. The opposition is doing everything possible to confuse the issue by making it appear that Measure 35 would limit any awards in medical insurance cases to $500,000. They continue to do this even though they know the facts just do not support their claims.

Juries Still Important

Economic and non-economic damages are both involved in every malpractice case but each has a very specific role. Measure 35 ensures that every Oregonian can receive fair compensation for any medical injury by protecting a jury's ability to award any economic compensation they deem necessary. The opposition wants you to think that Measure 35 would take away the necessities of life for people who have been injured.

Measure 35 would restore sanity and stability to a system that has been steadily deteriorating, while still ensuring that injured patients are fairly compensated for their losses. Soaring compensation awards are seriously impacting our state's ability to provide health care access – especially in rural areas -- as more doctors choose to limit their practice or simply relocate out of state. It is also negatively affecting our ability to recruit new doctors to our state.

As Chairman of the organization representing Oregon's Hospitals, I urge you to join us in supporting Measure 35.

Larry A. Mullins, DHA
Chairman
Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems

(This information furnished by Larry Mullins, DHA, Chairman, Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.)


Argument in Favor

Oregon Nurses Association Supports Measure 35

The Oregon Nurses Association represents over 10,000 nurses across the state.

After lengthy debate, an open forum and extensive research, the Oregon Nurses Association has endorsed Ballot Measure 35. This is a critically important matter and we studied it with the seriousness that it deserved.

The ONA Extensive Research Found:

It is important to restore the $500,000 cap on non-economic
medical malpractice awards.

This is a reasonable first step that helps return stability to the
medical insurance system while ensuring that victims are
properly protected in cases of malpractice.

The unpredictability of future costs can be expected to cause
further reduction in access unless reforms are instituted.

Escalating medical malpractice premiums, including those for
physicians and some nurses, are causing providers to restrict
the services they offer or to leave practice altogether.

Both of these outcomes negatively impact access to
health care for many Oregonians.

Measure 35 is the First Step Towards a Larger Solution

ONA expects that a cap on non-economic damages alone will not entirely solve the problem but will become one part of a package of solutions to reduce the cost of medical insurance premiums for health care providers. We are asking for you to support Oregon's nurses by voting YES on Measure 35.

Debbie Cassell
President of the Oregon Nurses Association

(This information furnished by Debbie Cassell, President, Oregon Nurses Association.)


Argument in Favor

OREGON'S ELDERLY AND DISABLED NEED A YES VOTE ON
BALLOT MEASURE 35

The Oregon Alliance of Senior & Health Services is the statewide association of not-for-profit, mission-directed organizations dedicated to providing quality housing, care and services to the elderly and disabled. Alliance members – nursing homes, residential care, assisted living, housing and continuing care retirement facilities, as well as senior service agencies -- serve more than 13,000 older Oregonians.

Measure 35 Helps Ensure Elderly Access To
Comprehensive Health Care

The Alliance endorses measure 35. Since the 1990s nursing homes have become one of the fastest growing areas of health care litigation. Extensive and unabated litigation against providers of aging services and heavy losses on liability insurance policies have resulted in skyrocketing insurance premiums. The lawsuits and rise in insurance rates have led to the absurd situation where resources are drained away from resident care in facilities with no or little history of claims. This isn't right – limited dollars should go to resident care.

This crisis was averted once before with a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages. The Alliance recognizes that this common sense solution worked before. The good news for us is that it WILL work again.

Measure 35 simply restores the $500,000 cap (adjusted for inflation) on non-economic damages. We will see lower premiums, we will see resources being spent where it should – on resident care – instead of skyrocketing premiums!

Exercise Your Right To Affect Real Change
With Your Yes Vote

Our main goal is providing the highest quality of life for seniors and the disabled…we feel strongly that Measure 35 will help us accomplish this by bringing health care reform back to Oregon.

This ballot measure is a critical first step to addressing a health care system that for all of us is spiraling into a tailspin. Help protect vital health care for our seniors by voting YES on 35.

Ruth Gulyas
Oregon Alliance of Senior and Health Services

(This information furnished by Ruth Gulyus, Oregon Alliance of Senior and Health Services.)


Argument in Favor

Oregon Is Losing Doctors

Doctors' malpractice insurance rates are becoming so expensive that many doctors, especially those in rural areas and high-risk practices, are being forced to relocate or stop providing risky services.

My Personal Story

"My family doctor was forced to stop delivering babies by insurance rates. I live in Reedsport, Oregon, and recently had my second child. In order to get the prenatal care I needed, I was forced to travel over 60 miles round trip. I had to make the same trip while I was in active labor. It's ridiculous to have to bypass my local hospital because insurers wouldn't let them care for me.

"Ironically, I am also a doctor who had to give up delivering babies. Two years ago, all deliveries and prenatal care in Reedsport ended because it became impossible to find a doctor who could afford the insurance to perform an emergency caesarian section. Without the necessary emergency coverage, all deliveries were forced to stop. Skyrocketing insurance rates prevent me from getting and giving needed care locally."

Janet Patin, MD
Recent Mother, Family Physician

Measure 35 is Critical

If we pass Measure 35, we will reinstate a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages. Isn't that enough? This cap worked exceptionally well in Oregon for over a decade, and it will work again.

Everyone Pays if Measure 35 Fails

Huge jury awards don't weed out bad doctors, they just raise insurance premiums for everyone. Fewer doctors are willing to work here or provide high-risk services. Don't you expect excellent care if you have an accident on vacation? Don't you expect to get in to see a doctor when you need to? That could all go away if we don't pass Measure 35.

Vote YES on 35

As both a mother and doctor forced to stop delivering babies, I urge you to vote "YES" on Measure 35…because without 35, access to the care of a local doctor may end.

(This information furnished by Janet E. Patin, MD.)


Argument in Favor

RURAL OREGONIANS ARE HARDEST HIT
BY MEDICAL ACCESS CRISIS

Right now rural Oregonians are in danger of losing adequate access to critical medical care because of doctors' skyrocketing medical insurance rates. Access for some has already become an issue. If we do not address this access problem more rural Oregonians will be forced to travel sixty or more miles just to see a doctor.

MEASURE 35 PROTECTS THE FAMILIES OF FARMERS,
RANCHERS, AND LOGGERS

The people who will be most devastated will be Oregon's farmers, ranchers, loggers and anyone else who makes a living where there are already very limited options for medical care.

MEDICAL CARE OPTIONS CONTINUE TO SHRINK

It is the critical specialties that are losing doctors at the most alarming rates. This includes doctors who deliver babies, neurosurgeons and trauma doctors. If we do not act now to address this problem, we will have turned our back on every rural Oregonian.

DO YOU EVER TRAVEL IN RURAL OREGON?

Rural Oregonians deal with this growing medical dilemma on a continual basis, but how often do you travel east of Portland or south of Eugene? Next time you're driving outside a major city, think about what would happen should you have a medical emergency or accident in rural Oregon. What will you do if there are no medical specialists left to help you, your spouse or children if critically injured?

MEASURE 35 IS PART OF THE SOLUTION TO
MEDICAL INSURANCE REFORM

MEASURE 35 IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

MEASURE 35 RESTORES A SYSTEM THAT LOWERED
MEDICAL PREMIUMS FOR OVER A DECADE

MEASURE 35 WILL KEEP DOCTORS PRACTICING IN SMALL COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE STATE

Show your support of our ranchers, farmers, and loggers
and protect your family by
VOTING YES ON MEASURE 35.

Oregonians for Food and Shelter
Oregon Farm Bureau Federation
Associated Oregon Loggers, Inc.
American Forest Resource Council

(This information furnished by Terry Witt, Oregonians for Food and Shelter.)


Argument in Favor

Communities are being forced to sacrifice health care

Who is it that you trust with your health? For many in Oregon, it is their family physician. Possibly even the same one they have seen since they were children. Unfortunately, for many Oregonians, their choice of who will be available to provide for their health care needs is being limited.

Oregonians are offered a solution NOW

Since the cap on non-economic damages was removed in 1999 physician insurance premiums have increased at an alarming rate, forcing some doctors to limit their services or leave their practices altogether. Ultimately, this means that communities have to make sacrifices on their health care options – leading to an access crisis.

Only caps non-economic damages

Economic and non-economic damages are not interchangeable: each has its own special role in compensating the plaintiff.

Economic damages have a measurable impact such as lost wages, related medical expenses, future medical expenses, and other related costs. Non-economic damages include considerations like pain and suffering which are totally subjective.

These are two distinctly separate award categories, and anyone that tells you otherwise is simply attempting to confuse the facts.

Now is the time to vote for a change

Oregon voters have a chance now to reform the current system and to ensure that all patients have access to critical health care when they need it. This is why the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians encourages a YES vote on Measure 35.

Measure 35 will restore the system that once worked
in Oregon and will work in Oregon again.

Oregon Academy of Family Physicians

(This information furnished by James Chesnutt, MD, Oregon Academy of Family Physicians.)


Argument in Favor

Oregon Small Business Coalition
Supports Measure 35

The Oregon Small Business Coalition, which is made up of thousands of businesses from across the state, support Measure 35 and urges you to VOTE YES ON 35.

Measure 35 is Good for Business

Measure 35 is the First Part of a Greater Solution

Measure 35 will not cure all the ills of Oregon's health care system, but it is a great start. This is just the beginning of a larger discussion regarding complete reform of our health care system. However, if we can not agree to return to a system that has already worked for our state, what hope do we have for truly reforming our system. Measure 35 is the right thing to do, please remember that when you cast your vote on November 2nd.

OREGON SMALL BUSINESS COALITION

(This information furnished by Darrell Fuller, Oregon Small Business Coalition.)


Argument in Favor

PROTECT ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE

At 15, I decided to become an obstetrician/gynecologist when I grew up. Yet, five years after launching the medical practice I'd dreamed of, I became part of a statewide trend. Despite never being named in a lawsuit, I stopped delivering babies. Soaring malpractice insurance rates and fear of litigation have forced more than 125 Oregon physicians and midwives to make the same decision. Another 250 plan to stop delivering babies within five years.

Physicians in high-risk specialties are being forced to limit essential services or leave Oregon. Despite inflated figures cited by Measure 35 opponents, Oregon has a critical doctor shortage. Many believe that only "bad" doctors need to be concerned about being sued. The truth is 75% of all Ob/Gyns will be sued during their careers – not because they are bad doctors but because they provide high-risk services.

This crisis affects all Oregonians:

Measure 35 provides a common-sense solution:

Last year 22 states passed tort reform. Oregon must be next!

VOTE YES ON MEASURE 35!

Melissa Edwards, M.D.
Women's Care Physicians & Surgeons

(This information furnished by Melissa D. Edwards, M.D., Women's Care Physicians & Surgeons.)


Argument in Favor

BABIES IN RURAL OREGON ARE MORE LIKELY
TO HAVE LOW BIRTH WEIGHT.

THE DEATH RATE IN RURAL AREAS IS 20% HIGHER THAN
THE REST OF OREGON.

Shocking, isn't it? But despite these dire facts, Oregon doctors are trying harder than ever to practice in rural Oregon. The rising cost of medical malpractice insurance has been driving physicians away from the areas where they are needed most: leaving nearly half of Oregon's population in the lurch. Even when there are doctors that want to practice in rural Oregon, they are having a hard time of getting one of the two insurers in the state to issue them a policy. The Oregon Rural Health Association has witnessed the impact of the epidemic of frivolous lawsuits and as it stands:

AND IT IS GETTING WORSE

THE KEY TO PROPER TREATMENT IS ACCESS

And there can be no access when doctors continue to be driven away by the outrageous malpractice insurance rates that result from the frivolous lawsuits filed by greedy trial lawyers.

What can you do to help? You can vote YES on 35.

The situation has already gotten out of hand, we need to act NOW to protect health care for all Oregonians. We need to vote "YES" on 35.

Oregon Rural Health Association

(This information furnished by E.E. "Ed" Patterson, Executive Director, Oregon Rural Health Association.)


Argument in Favor

MEASURE 35 IS GOOD FOR OREGON'S SMALL BUSINESSES

A Bad Situation
Skyrocketing costs for medical malpractice insurance isn't just hurting doctors, it's hurting patients and Oregon's small businesses.

Rates have increased dramatically since the $500,000 cap on non-economic damages was removed in 1999.

More and more doctors are being forced to either stop practicing or curtail high risk services because they just can not afford the insurance costs.

Increasing Health Care Costs Hurt Oregon's Businesses
Unlimited non-economic awards place tremendous upward pressure on overall health care costs and rates for small business.

Health insurance is becoming more costly every day and is placing a larger burden on the shoulders of every small business in our state.

It has gotten to the point that some employers are no longer able to offer health insurance to their employees at all.

Lack of Access Hurts Oregon's Businesses
Many smaller communities across the state are losing access to critical health care services. People in need of care are forced to travel increasing distances to receive it.

This means that employees have to take more time off work for medical care, which is hard on both employee and employer.

Measure 35 Good for Oregon's Businesses
A recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study estimates that limiting unreasonable jury awards for non-economic damages, which is exactly what Measure 35 does, could reduce health care and insurance costs by 5-9% without adversely affecting quality of care.

Oregon's Small Business Urge You to Pass Measure 35
Measure 35 helps to lift the burden of health care costs that are impacting Oregon's small businesses. NFIB/Oregon urges you to support Measure 35 because it is a first step down the road to positive health care reform.

VOTE YES ON MEASURE 35!

J.L. Wilson
National Federation of Independent Business - Oregon

(This information furnished by J.L. Wilson, National Federation of Independent Business/Oregon.)


Argument in Favor

IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU

You're in a serious accident. Your ambulance is diverted to an ER hours away and valuable time is lost. No trauma specialist is on call at your hospital, because medical liability insurance is no longer available.

You're expecting a baby. But you'll have to drive over 100 miles for delivery. Only a handful of doctors are left who practice obstetrics, the rest driven out by skyrocketing liability costs.

A family member has a serious medical problem. You'll have to wait weeks or months to see a specialist, or go out of state. Many of Oregon's best physicians can no longer afford to practice here, because of liability costs.

These scenes are not imaginary. Oregon is losing doctors. Access to medical care is threatened by frivolous lawsuits and unreasonable non-economic damage ("pain and suffering") awards. You pay for it by losing access to medical care. Ballot Measure 35 stops the loss.

IF IT HAPPENS TO YOU

If an injury occurs due to medical negligence, you should receive the economic award to which you are entitled.

This means recovery of all current and future medical, hospital, nursing, rehabilitative and other health care services, all lost income, expenses for domestic service, and more.

No limits. Period. That is the way it should be, and that is exactly what Ballot Measure 35 ensures.

DON'T LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU

This is not a partisan issue; it is a patient issue. We simply cannot afford to lose more doctors and access to the local medical care we need. It doesn't matter where you live: Portland, Medford, Pendleton or Lakeview. The issue is about all Oregonians' access to medical care. A YES vote on Ballot Measure 35 will assure that YOU get help in time of need.

Medical Society of Metropolitan Portland

(This information furnished by Keith I. Marton, M.D., President, Medical Society of Metropolitan Portland.)


Argument in Favor

Associated Oregon Industries Supports Ballot Measure 35

AOI represents over 20,000 member companies, which employ almost one third of Oregon's private workforce. On behalf of our members, we implore all Oregonians to vote YES on Measure 35.

MEASURE 35 WILL SAVE OREGON TAXPAYERS MILLIONS!

Recently, Regence BlueCross BlueShield estimated that Ballot Measure 35 will save the three governmental agencies they insure over $27 million in tax payer dollars due to overall savings in health care costs. If $27 million represents the savings for only three governmental agencies, just imagine the overall tax savings when every government employee is taken into account!

MEASURE 35 IS GOOD
FOR BUSINESS OWNERS AND EMPLOYEES

The cost of insuring employees is steadily increasing and is steadily becoming a larger problem for all employers, big and small. Unfortunately, the burden is proving too much for a large number of businesses, forcing them to either reduce health care benefits or eliminate them all together.

Ballot Measure 35 will help to reverse this trend. A recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study estimated overall health care costs could be reduced by at least 5% by simply capping non-economic damage awards to reasonable levels. A 5% saving on health care costs will save Oregon businesses millions of dollars each year, helping them continue to keep their employees insured.

MEASURE 35 IS PART OF THE SOLUTION

Measure 35 will restore the cap on non-economic damages that held medical malpractice insurance costs and outrageous jury awards in check for over a decade. This measure is not new or unknown, we have had it before and we know a cap will work again.

Ballot Measure 35 will not solve every problem in Oregon's health care system, but it takes a first step down the path to greater reform. We urge you to join Associated Oregon Industries in supporting a common sense solution for Oregon…VOTE YES ON MEASURE 35!

Richard M. Butrick
President
Associated Oregon Industries

(This information furnished by Richard M. Butrick, President & Chief Executive Officer, Associated Oregon Industries.)


Argument in Favor

OREGON IS LOSING DOCTORS

The Marion-Polk County Medical Society represents doctors across two counties and, on behalf of our members, we are urging you to support Measure 35.

From 1987 to 1999 Oregon had a system that worked. During that time, a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages reduced and stabilized medical malpractice insurance premiums. That stability kept premiums reasonable and allowed doctors to focus on their practice. Once that cap was removed, our medical malpractice insurance system went haywire.

THE RESULTS OF REMOVING THE CAP ON
NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES

Malpractice insurance rates have increased
an average of 175%.
Doctors are being forced to either reduce their
services or leave the state.
This limits access to adequate health care
for many Oregonians.
Jury awards have increased over 60%.

THE RESULTS OF PASSING MEASURE 35
Doctors will be able to continue practicing.
Access to medical care will improve.
Jury awards will return to reasonable levels.
The jury system will be protected
while discouraging frivolous lawsuits.
Restoration of a system that worked well for over a decade.

Measure 35 would restore the $500,000 cap on non-economic damages that served this state so well. This measure is a reasonable solution to a problem that impacts all of us. It will serve to protect doctors and their patients while ensuring that injured patients are adequately taken care of.

Measure 35 is right for Oregon and that is why the Marion-Polk County Medical Society asks you to vote YES on Measure 35.

Marion-Polk County Medical Society

(This information furnished by William "Bud" Pierce, Ph.D., M.D., President, Marion-Polk County Medical Society.)


Argument in Favor

LANE COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY SAYS
"YES" TO MEASURE 35

Oregon's Medical Insurance System Needs Treatment

Oregon's medical malpractice insurance system is in trouble. That is bad news for everyone who needs health care, which means it's bad news for all Oregonians.

Diagnosis of the Problem

This is a bad situation for both doctor and patient. Fortunately, we can treat this problem.

Recommended Treatment Plan: PASS MEASURE 35

We can help cure this problem by simply passing Measure 35 and bringing back a system that has already proven itself in Oregon. On behalf of all my members, I urge you to VOTE YES ON 35!

(This information furnished by Raymond N. Englander, Lane County Medical Society.)


Argument in Favor

Clackamas County Medical Society Needs You to
Vote Yes on Measure 35

The issue is simple: Our Citizens' Access to health care is being compromised. We are confident Measure 35 moves all of Oregon in the right direction toward addressing this health care access crisis.

Without Measure 35, the following problems we are now facing in Clackamas County will only get worse:

These critical, life-giving and life-saving services should not be limited for any individual – especially when returning to a system that existed in Oregon for more than a decade would help avert an access crisis. All we are asking is to return to a system that worked. Please help us restore the $500,000 cap on non-economic damages.

Ultimately, the health care you protect could be yours or that of your family.

Please make your vote count and vote YES on Ballot Measure 35.

CLACKAMAS COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY

(This information furnished by Janet M. Hochstatter, Executive Director, Clackamas County Medical Society.)


Argument in Favor

Chambers of Commerce from throughout Oregon
are joining together to urge a YES vote on Measure 35

As the representatives of thousands of businesses across Oregon, we urge you to support Measure 35. Some may not understand why Chambers of Commerce from every corner of the state are interested in a measure that addresses a problem with Oregon's medical malpractice insurance system.

We are interested because this system affects everyone

- Skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates are forcing doctors to restrict their practices or leave the state; that hurts access to health care for everyone.

- Skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates place an upward pressure on overall health care costs; that makes care more expensive for everyone, employees and employers alike.

- Lack of access hurts our communities, and ultimately hurts the businesses that we represent.

Measure 35 addresses those problems by restoring a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, a cap that worked in Oregon for over a decade. This measure will not solve all our health care problems, but we know it will solve one huge problem by keeping our doctors practicing. Measure 35's solution has worked before in Oregon and will work again for all Oregonians.

Measure 35 is a common sense solution
that has already worked once.

Please VOTE YES ON 35

Portland Business Alliance
The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County
Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce
Joseph Chamber of Commerce
Oregon City Chamber of Commerce
Seaside Chamber of Commerce
Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce
Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
Milton-Freewater Area Chamber of Commerce
North Clackamas County Chamber of Commerce
Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce
Salem Area Chamber of Commerce
Tillamook Chamber of Commerce

(This information furnished by Brad Hicks, President & CEO, The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County.)


Argument in Favor

Medical Malpractice Insurance Crisis for Oregon

The rising costs of medical malpractice insurance and the increasing difficulty in getting adequate malpractice insurance for many surgical subspecialists is causing a large number of surgeons to question their ability to continue providing emergency surgery and trauma care.

Most surgeons are willing to provide emergency surgery but many are hesitating because of the malpractice insurance crisis.

Physicians and surgeons have had such difficulty getting malpractice insurance coverage since the cap on non-economic damages was removed because of the amount of uncertainty inherently involved in unlimited awards for pain and suffering. Personal injury lawyers' pursuit of unlimited non-economic damages and the corresponding outrageous jury awards they can produce are a big part of the cause of the medical insurance crisis.

Should the "lottery" for unlimited medical malpractice non-economic damages continue? Should we allow a situation where surgeons can't afford to provide emergency care and patients can't receive timely emergency care when they need it? Injured patients should be fully compensated and with Measure 35 they will be. Patients will receive full compensation for all economic hardships and up to $500,000 for non-economic damages.

Vote YES on Measure 35 and restore stability to the Trauma and Emergency Medical System

William Long, M.D., FACS
Medical Director of Trauma Services
Legacy Emanuel Level 1 Trauma Center

Chris Kaufman, M.D., FACS
Asociate Trauma Director

Seth Izenberg, M.D., FACS
Associate Trauma Director

(This information furnished by William Long, MD, Medical Director of Trauma Services, Legacy Emanuel Level 1 Trauma Center.)


Argument in Favor

Oregon's doctors and patients
are in the same, dangerous, boat.

Medical malpractice insurance rates are going through the roof due to the removal of the cap on non-economic damages. Doctors are being forced out of practice by these enormous premiums. The situation is not good for patients, in fact it's compromising their access to health care. As physicians who provide anesthetic care for such critical care as labor and delivery and to gravely ill and injured patients, we see the effects of this crisis every day as the number of neurosurgeons and other trauma specialist dwindles.

Oregon needs a cap on non-economic damages. To prove
that, you need only look to what has happened in the
last five years since the cap was removed:

1) Awards have increased from an average of $870,000 to $3.6 million, that is 65%!

2) The average obstetric claims have risen to an amazing $9.5 million.

3) The number of patients complaints have not grown, it's the awards that have grown.

4) The average doctor's medical insurance costs have risen over 170%.

5) 22% of all those practitioners delivering babies in Oregon have stopped.

6) Oregon is losing anesthesiologists and, without stable insurance rates, it is becoming very difficult to recruit new physicians.

Those are some very frightening statistics. And without
Measure 35, things are only going to get worse.

BALLOT MEASURE 35 will lower malpractice insurance rates which will help keep Oregon's doctors practicing in Oregon.

BALLOT MEASURE 35 will restore balance to the system by ensuring that injured patients receive fair compensation for all economic hardship while protecting patient access to care.

BALLOT MEASURE 35 will make sure that the next time you need the services of an anesthesiologists, on will be there to help you.

Ballot Measure 35 is too important for Oregon's future and we can not afford to let it fail. Please VOTE YES ON MEASURE 35!

Angela Kendrick, M.D.
President
Oregon Society of Anesthesiologists

(This information furnished by Angela Kendrick, M.D., President, Oregon Society of Anesthesiologists.)


Argument in Favor

Measure 35
Solution to Controlling Health Care Costs

Measure 35 is a solution to a serious problem facing Oregon's health care system: increasing costs of medical malpractice insurance is causing small business insurance costs to increase. In 1999, a court action lifted the cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, creating a crisis in liability insurance coverage for Oregon physicians and hospitals, and Oregon's employees' are paying the bigger share of these increases.

Lawsuits and resulting costs to doctors and patients are spiraling out of control due to the unpredictability in the insurance market. This unpredictability is a direct result of the lifted cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Since the cap was lifted in 1999, medical liability premiums have skyrocketed—as much as 400 percent for some high-risk specialists. Jury awards have increased by 65 percent in just three years, with the average claim rising from $870,000 to $3.6 million and the average demand for an obstetric claim rising to a staggering $9.5 million.

Small- and medium-sized businesses are being hit heavily with the effects of lifting the cap on non-economic damages. As the costs to small business increase, these higher costs are passed on through higher insurance rates, co-pays and deductibles. As the cost of providing health care insurance to employees continues to go through the roof, businesses'
benefits plans are forced to be less comprehensive and less competitive. This affects everyone's pocketbooks as businesses are forced to pay more.

Other states have seen the results of reform, with premium increases remaining significantly lower due to a cap on non-economic damage awards (including Oregon when the cap was previously in place). Through Measure 35's $500,000 limit for non-economic damages, costs will decrease and availability will increase, once again stabilizing Oregon's healthcare system. Stability in the medical liability system is desperately needed, and with the passing of Ballot Measure 35, Oregon's critical healthcare condition will be remedied.

Vote YES on 35.

(This information furnished by Bill Perry, Oregon Restaurant Association.)


Argument in Favor

Oregonians are being needlessly put at risk by a
medical tort system in need of reform.

It Costs Doctors

Medical malpractice insurance costs are increasing so rapidly that many physicians are forced to leave their practices and move to other states, leaving thousands of Oregonians with little or no access to adequate health care. The situation has become a crisis: one that will not solve itself.

It Costs You

Doctors are forced to practice "defensive medicine" in order to protect themselves from medical malpractice claims. These extensive and sometimes invasive tests sometimes not medically necessary, and also passed on to you in the form of higher insurance premiums and co-pays.

And It Gets Worse

Doctors are leaving Oregon at an alarming rate. What will become of the health of you and your loved ones when something as simple as a routine physical becomes a burden to schedule? Let alone a catastrophic health emergency requiring the skills of a specialist: a specialist who can no longer provide critical medical procedures or who no longer practices in Oregon because of skyrocketing rates.

SAVE OREGON'S DOCTORS!

VOTE YES ON 35!

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Oregon Academy of Family Physicians
Oregon Academy of Ophthalmology
Oregon Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Inc.
Oregon Association of Orthopaedists
The Oregon Chapter of the American College of Surgeons
Oregon Chapter, American College of Cardiology
Oregon Chapter, American College of Physicians
Oregon Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Oregon Dermatology Society
Oregon Psychiatric Association
Oregon Radiological Society
Oregon Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Oregon Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.
Oregon Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Oregon Urological Society
Southwestern Oregon Medical Society

(This information furnished by John Moorhead, M.D., President, Oregon Medical Association.)


Argument in Favor

It is Time to Look Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors

There are a handful of personal injury lawyers spreading misinformation about Ballot Measure 35. We are a statewide organization representing over 300 practicing emergency physicians in Oregon and we feel it is important to let the facts speak for themselves.

THE CRISIS:

THE MISINFORMATION:

Opponents to Measure 35 claim that it would take away your right to a jury trial, they claim it will not reduce medical insurance rates and they say it will not lower health care costs. However, none of their claims hold up when you review the facts.

THE FACTS:

DON'T BUY THE LIES

If Measure 35 fails there will be two losers: Oregonians and their health care providers. Oregonians will lose access to care and physicians will lose the ability to practice in Oregon. The only winners will be profiteering trial lawyers.

As emergency physicians we are on the front lines of medicine every day and we understand the importance of preserving patient access…and Measure 35 will ensure that we all have access to medical care when and where we need it.

VOTE YES ON 35

Oregon Chapter of the American College of
Emergency Physicians

(This information furnished by Janet D. Paquette, MD, FACEP, President, Oregon Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.)


Argument in Favor

Medical Injuries Should Be Compensated

The facts are that sometimes people get hurt when doctors make mistakes. When that happens, people SHOULD be paid for their losses. Measure 35 guarantees that they will, but some attorneys don't want you to know that.

Don't Let the Personal Injury Lawyer's
Misinformation Fool You!

The approximately 30 personal injury lawyers that are supporting the opposition claim Measure 35 would limit all awards in medical insurance cases to $500,000, even though they know that is just not true.

Jury's Still Decide Damages

Measure 35 ensures that you can receive full and fair compensation for any medical injury. Measure 35 guarantees that juries can make the decision to compensate you for ALL economic damages, such as lost wages, medical expenses, childcare costs and future costs that are a result of an injury. Measure 35 will only place a $500,000 limit on extra, non-economic damages, things like emotional pain and suffering.

Why Do Personal Injury Lawyers Oppose Measure 35?

It's a matter of greed. Measure 35 limits the amount of potential income attorney's can make in a lawsuit. Measure 35 can cut their income by 40%. That's their main motivation for opposing Measure 35.

Physicians Want To Protect Your Access To Health Care

Who do you think has your best interest at heart, the 30 personal injury lawyers who are trying to protect their pocketbooks, OR YOUR PHYSICIAN? Measure 35 will restore sanity to a system that has run amok and is hurting the people of Oregon. It will help guarantee that physicians will keep delivering babies in rural areas, performing the complicated surgeries and keeping their doors open to all patients.

VOTE YES ON MEASURE 35 to bring back a system that worked.

Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of Oregon

(This information furnished by Jeff Heatherington, Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of Oregon, Inc.)


Argument in Favor

Dear Voter:

I am an attorney and a member of the Oregon State Bar. I am currently retired after several years in private mediation practice. Prior to becoming a lawyer I was engaged in several other professions. I believe I bring a somewhat unique breadth of knowledge and experience to certain legal issues.

In my view the present system of litigation of personal injury claims is seriously flawed. It tends to promote lawsuits that are little more than lotteries for plaintiffs and their attorneys, who often receive one-third or more of jury awards.

Few would dispute the premise that if an injury is truly the result of negligence, the injured party should be reimbursed for the economic loss he or she sustains. In contrast, I believe the area of so-called "non-economic" damages is one in which the legal system encourages abuse. Such injuries actually exist, but it is typically impossible to place a definitive value on them, while the dollar value of economic damages must be substantiated objectively. This too often encourages outrageous requests of millions of dollars to be added to otherwise legitimate claims; and also encourages the filing of lawsuits whose merits are at best marginal.

The public should be aware that although the costs of disproportionate jury awards fall first upon defendants and their insurers, eventually everyone pays. This Measure is a first step in correcting this important problem.

Please join me in supporting Measure 35.

Robert B. Johnson, J.D., Ph.D.

(This information furnished by Robert Johnson, J.D., Ph.D.)


Argument in Favor

PATIENT ACCESS IS BEING RESTRICTED

Getting a doctor's appointment when you want one is becoming difficult in this state.

Patients are waiting months to see a physician and injured patients are often forced to travel great distances to find a certain specialist.

Pregnant women are having a difficult time finding obstetricians, especially in rural areas of Oregon.

Skyrocketing medical insurance rates, caused by flaws in Oregon's medical liability system, are creating the delays in appointments and care.

Doctors cannot even get insurance to cover the huge amounts being awarded.

DOCTORS ARE FORCED TO STOP PROVIDING SERVICES

Many doctors have quit their profession or left the state because of the cost of malpractice insurance in Oregon.

Many have stopped performing high-risk procedures, like back surgery and delivering babies, because of our medical liability insurance crisis.

Skills once used to heal patients, skills that doctors spent tens of thousands of hours in training to acquire, have been abandoned by physicians because of the risk of multi-million dollar lawsuits.

The end result is that access to sophisticated health care services has become more difficult for Oregonians because of this medical liability insurance crisis.

Your health may be at risk because of
decreased access to care in our state.

Unfortunately, you may not realize this until it is too late.

MEASURE 35 WILL HELP CORRECT THIS CRISIS

Measure 35 will once again make Oregon attractive for new doctors.

Measure 35 will allow doctors to continue providing high quality care to Oregonians.

Measure 35 does not cap potential lost wages or medical expenses in a malpractice case.

Please vote YES on Measure 35 to protect health care
access for all Oregonians.

McMinnville Physicians Organization

Erik E. Swensson, M.D., F.A.C.S., Vascular & General Surgery
Michael P. Jaczko, D.O., Family Practice
Matthew J. Bliven, M.D., Family Practice
John B. Neeld, M.D., Obstetrics & Gynecology

(This information furnished by Kathie Oriet, McMinnville Physicians Organization.)


Argument in Favor

Local Medical School Student May Be Forced to Leave Oregon

I am currently a medical student in my third year at OHSU. After graduation, I hope to set up practice medicine in Oregon. Unfortunately, I don't know if that will be possible. The reality is that I may likely be forced to move out of Oregon and practice in another state where I can afford my medical liability insurance.

Unfortunately, it is not just about patient care anymore

Today in Oregon, we have a system that has gotten so far out of hand that, along with learning leading edge procedures and practices, I learn about defensive medicine in an effort to protect against frivolous lawsuits. I understand the potentially devastating impact of even one lawsuit. A lawsuit that has the ability to shatter my dreams of serving my patients, force me to close a practice, and compel me to look at other avenues of medicine. These are costs that will ultimately impact patients through higher insurance premiums, lack of access, and lack of choices in medical care.

Measure 35 Will Allow Student to Study and Practice in Oregon

Measure 35 will restore a cap that worked in Oregon to stabilize the system, allow doctors to practice and protect patients' rights. Measure 35 is a strong first step in the right direction for Oregon. This is a problem that must be addressed because if Oregon's own medical students won't stay in Oregon – who will serve your community?

I, like my fellow students, have not yet been threatened by the soaring costs of practicing, frivolous lawsuits, or closing practices. We see a bright future of serving patients who need our skills and services. That is why I support Measure 35.

Now is the time for a change…VOTE YES ON 35.

Cody Evans
OHSU Medical Student

(This information furnished by Cody Evans, OHSU Medical Student.)


Argument in Favor

OREGON IS LOSING NEUROSURGEONS

Neurosurgery (surgery of the brain and spine) is a critical part of any health care system. Unfortunately, neurosurgeons have recently become an endangered species in Oregon because of skyrocketing medical insurance premiums that are driving them out the state or out of practice. That means the next time there is a serious brain or spine injury, brain tumor, or brain hemorrhage (stroke), there may not be a neurosurgeon available.

Some of the key factors driving medical insurance premiums through the roof:

WHAT'S CHANGED

Between 1987 and 1999, malpractice insurance rates dropped by 50%, which ensured that doctors were able to practice their craft and care for patients. From 1999 onward, insurance rates for neurosurgeons have increased approximately 400%, which has forced many neurosurgeons to stop providing this high risk care. Some insurance carriers are unwilling to cover neurosurgeons in this high risk environment. Without malpractice insurance, neurosurgeons are not able to provide care. What caused this huge change? The $500,000 cap on non-economic damages was removed in 1999. Now, awards for non-economic damages (pain and suffering) can reach millions of dollars.

WHY WE NEED MEASURE 35

Measure 35 would reinstate the $500,000 cap that has worked in Oregon in prior years. We need Measure 35 because we need practicing neurosurgeons in Oregon. We need Measure 35 because we need to restore a fair system that protects doctors and patients in Oregon.

Measure 35 will not solve every problem in our medical system. However, Measure 35 will ensure that our neurosurgeons may continue to practice in Oregon and that Oregonians will have access to neurosurgical care. That is why the Oregon Neurosurgical Association encourages a YES vote on
MEASURE 35.

Dr. Jeff Chen

Dr. Frank Soldevilla

Dr. David Adler

(This information furnished by Dr. Jeff Chen, Oregon Neurosurgical Society.)


Argument in Favor

IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!?

There soon won't be enough doctors for all the houses in Oregon if frivolous lawsuits continue to drive up the cost of malpractice insurance. We are groups of independent physicians throughout the state and we know how hard physicians work to provide quality care to Oregonians. We also know how hard skyrocketing insurance rates in Oregon have impacted both patients and doctors:

Opponents of measure 35 try to pull the wool over your eyes, telling you that a cap on non-economic damages will hijack the jury's control over awards. This is patently untrue.

Keep health care accessible and affordable for all Oregonians. Stand together with physicians from across the state and vote YES ON 35!

Names of IPAs to be listed here

PrimeCare
McMinnville Physicians Organizations
Columbia Pacific I.P.A.
Central Oregon IPA
Mid Rogue Independent Physicians Association
InterHospital Physicians Association - The Portland IPA
Association of Northwest Physicians
Lane Individual Practice Association
Oregon Primary Care, Inc.
Pacific IPA, Inc.
Quality Care Associates, Inc.

(This information furnished by Mike Bond, CEO, PrimeCare.)


Argument in Favor

The Oregon Association of Orthopedists urges a
YES vote on Measure 35.

Our Association numbers close to 200 orthopedic surgeons across the state. We take pride in providing quality care for patients with injuries to bones, joints, tendons, and nerves.

Oregon's Medical Liability Crisis

Oregon's medical liability crisis is responsible for a growing threat to Oregonian's access to quality healthcare. The cost of medical liability insurance has become so expensive that many orthopedic surgeons have been forced to limit their practice, relocate to a different state, or withdraw from government programs such as the Oregon Health Plan and Medicare where reimbursement rates fail to adequately cover the rising insurance premiums.

Medical Liability Insurance is Necessary

Medical liability insurance is necessary for those injured by medical errors to receive payment for their economic and non-economic losses. Examples of economic losses include medical bills, lost wages, disability and job retraining benefits. Non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, are real but not measurable.

Oregon's Medical Insurance System is Broken

Throughout the 1990's medical liability insurance remained affordable because of a cap on non-economic awards in medical liability lawsuits. Since removed in 1999 there has been no fiscally responsible or consistent formula for calculating non-economic awards. This has resulted in exorbitant awards for non-economic losses and skyrocketing medical liability insurance premiums. Clearly our current "system" is broken and represents an unsustainable burden to all Oregonian's.

Measure 35 is a Common Sense Solution

Measure 35 will restore a cap on non-economic awards in medical liability lawsuits of $500,000 with provisions to increase with the cost of living. Measure 35 will still allow anyone who has suffered injury due to medical error to sue for full compensation of economic damages. Measure 35 is a common sense and proven solution that will help protect access to quality healthcare for all Oregonian's.

Oregon's orthopedic surgeons urge you to VOTE YES ON 35.

Mark D. Peterson, M.D.
2004 President
Oregon Association of Orthopaedists

(This information furnished by Mark D. Peterson, M.D., 2004 President, Oregon Association of Orthopaedists.)


Argument in Favor

Economic damages are protected.

Make no mistake, we believe that those patients harmed as a result of medical negligence should be made as whole again as possible. This means that you should receive your full economic damages including lost earnings, future earnings, past and future medical care and any supportive care necessary. This measure only proposes to cap non-economic damage, such as pain and suffering, to $500,000.

Juries will be protected.

This ballot measure is not about juries or disempowering juries. It is about a system full of frivolous suits filed in hope of hitting the jackpot. These jackpot awards cost all of us, and the majority of the money does not go where it should-----to the patient. Some reasonable limits need to be placed on pain and suffering awards or we all will pay and only very few will benefit.

This is not an insurance industry investment problem.

The opposition will attempt to confuse you with meaningless numbers. The reality is that the insurance industry has had to increase rates to recoup substantial losses they have incurred due to jackpot pain and suffering awards since the Oregon cap on non-economic damages was lifted in 1999. Insurers are trying to make up for losses incurred due to jackpot medical liability awards, not due to their investments.

The current system is full of frivolous cases, costs all of us significantly, and results in the majority of the money awarded going to the trial attorney. It is a broken system that is already unfair.

This is not a "bad doctor" problem.

It is not the same small number of doctors year in and year out who are causing the bulk of awards in medical liability suits. In fact, the number of cases filed has remained steady, it is just the awards that have gone through the roof.

Please vote yes on Measure 35.

Michael B. Vessely, M.D.
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

(This information furnished by Michael B. Vessely, M.D., American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.)


Argument in Favor

OREGON NURSE-MIDWIVES SUPPORT MEASURE 35

Nurse-Midwives support consumer protection

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) believe women and their families should be justly compensated for harm as a result of practitioner error. Measure 35 guarantees a citizen's right to a jury trial for injury resulting from medical negligence, and to compensation for medical costs, lost income, future impairment of earning capacity and other economic damages. Measure 35 further supports compensation for pain, suffering, inconvenience and other subjective non-economic losses up to $500,000.

Nurse-Midwives serve the women of Oregon

Nurse-Midwives have been practicing in Oregon for over 30 years and attend almost 15% of all births in Oregon. They practice in a variety of settings: public health departments, migrant health clinics, private practices and HMOs. They provide health care to women of all ages, with a focus upon pregnancy and birth. Over 70% of nurse-midwives include vulnerable populations of women in their care.

Nurse-Midwifery practice is threatened by high liability premiums

Like physicians, CNMs are facing ever increasing insurance rates for liability insurance. In some areas this has resulted in the actual closure of practices. In all practices, these higher rates have a direct impact upon the quality of care provided. The skyrocketing rates require CNMs to see more patients to cover the increased cost of premiums, decreasing the time that can be spent with an individual patient. Time to listen, educate and counsel patients is a hallmark of nurse-midwifery care.

CNMs are committed to ensuring access to high quality and affordable health care for all women.

CNMs are a part of the solution to the high cost of health care. For example, their low-tech, high-touch approach has been shown to result in fewer Cesarean births. Access to nurse-midwifery services is threatened by the current liability crisis. We urge a Yes vote on Measure 35.

(This information furnished by Catherine F. Pelosi, CNM, Oregon Chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.)


Argument in Favor

SOUTHERN OREGON DESERVES DOCTORS TOO

Doctors and health care providers in Jackson County treat within a ten county region in southern and central Oregon. Our doctors provide critical care and high-risk services, such as delivering babies and neurosurgery, but many doctors are finding it impossible to continue services because of rapidly raising medical insurance rates. These doctors may not be here the next time they are needed unless a reasonable solution to the problem can be reached.

Measure 35 is a Common Sense Solution to a
Growing Problem. Measure 35 will:

Measure 35 is a reasonable solution to an escalating problem. We urge you to say YES to Oregon's doctors and say YES to Measure 35.

Jackson County Medical Society

(This information furnished by Debra McFadden, Jackson County Medical Society.)


Argument in Favor

Oregon Optometric Physicians Association
Supports Measure 35

There are some things we take for granted: eyesight is one of
them. Another is having access to a physician. Like our
eyesight, we probably won't miss our doctors
until they are gone.

Don't let the current crisis become a disaster.

CAN YOU SEE THE PROBLEM?

IS IT CLEARER NOW?

The problem is coming into focus…

Unfortunately, medical malpractice laws favor lawyers over
both patient and physician. We can correct this by
capping non-economic damages at $500,000.

Oregonians deserve the best possible eye care from the
best-trained professionals. Help keep these
professionals in practice and in state,

VOTE YES ON 35!

Here at the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association we know
the value of clear vision. We can clearly see that the medical
tort system in Oregon is being abused by trial lawyers blind
to the impact their greed has had on the quality of health
care in Oregon. We have watched as our friends and
colleagues have been forced to stop high risk
procedures because the cost of malpractice
insurance is so high. Don't take your
physicians for granted because,
like your eyesight, they are
too dear to lose!

THE OREGON OPTOMETRIC PHYSICIANS ASSOCIATION

(This information furnished by Wayne Schumacher, Executive Director, Oregon Optometric Physicians Association.)


Argument in Favor

Measure 35 is a Step in the right direction

OREGON'S MEDICAL INSURANCE SYSTEM IS IN TROUBLE
Doctor's medical malpractice insurance rates are skyrocketing and forcing many doctors to leave the state, stop actively practicing medicine or stop providing certain high risk services. As more and more doctors are forced out, Oregon's communities face a growing health care access crisis.

OUR COMMUNITIES NEED HEALTH CARE ACCESS
Communities across Oregon are losing doctors, and that is not good for anybody. Patients are forced to travel long distances from their homes for specialized care, and in cases of emergency that travel time can sometimes make the difference between life and death. This places a strain on families, businesses, the economy and ultimately the entire community.

Measure 35 will make a difference by:

Measure 35 is not a silver bullet that will solve every problem that Oregon's health care system faces, but it is an important first step. Measure 35 is the best choice for Oregon's patients, communities, and health care system.

As the Mayors of numerous communities around the state, we urge you to do what is best for Oregon…We urge you to vote YES ON MEASURE 35!

Edward J. Gormley
Mayor of McMinnville

Jim Torrey
Mayor of Eugene

Keith Tymchuk
Mayor of Reedsport

Lou Ogden
Mayor of Tualatin

Robb E. Van Cleave
Mayor of The Dalles

(This information furnished by Edward J. Gormley, Mayor of McMinnville.)


Argument in Favor

We are the Chief Petitioners for Measure 35.

We are Oregonians, doctors, and surgeons. We have cared for our fellow citizens for years and hope to do so in the future. We want you to know that our health care system is in jeopardy.

We are leaders in promoting patient safety and
providing excellent medical care.

We are all members of the Oregon Medical Association. We have helped to create the organization's Patient Safety Committee, taking the lead in the development of Oregon's model patient safety legislation.

We are fighting to protect your access to health care.

Sick or injured people need access to quality, timely medical care. But rising liability insurance premiums are driving doctors out of Oregon.

Measure 35 will bring down those premiums, and maintain access to medical care while fairly reimbursing those who are truly injured.

- Measure 35 protects the patient by promoting unlimited economic damages
- Measure 35 restores a cap of $500,000 only on non-economic damages
- Measure 35 maintains the jury system

Personal injury attorneys will distort the
goals of Measure 35.

They have to if they want to continue to get rich off of pain and suffering awards. You pay for this by losing access to your doctor. So just remember this - Measure 35 returns Oregon to the stable medical liability climate that we experienced from 1987 - 1999. Nothing more and nothing less. Keep your doctor. Keep access to health care. And keep working with us to make medicine safer.

Vote YES on Measure 35

Colin Cave, M.D.
ENT - Head and Neck Surgeon, Beaverton

Monica Wehby, M.D.
Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Portland

Peter A. Bernardo, M.D.
General Surgeon, Salem

(This information furnished by Colin Cave, M.D., ENT-Head and Neck Surgeon, Beaverton.)


Argument in Favor

YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
SUPPORTS MEASURE 35

Oregon's community hospitals understand the importance of returning our state to a system that worked before. Measure 35 does just that by restoring a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical insurance cases.

Oregon's hospitals are facing escalating malpractice rates that cut into the revenues that, otherwise, would have been available for health care services Hospitals are also having a difficult time keeping their physicians and recruiting new ones, due to the skyrocketing insurance rates health care providers must pay. Without reform, these costs will just continue to increase and continue to impair the ability of Oregon's community hospitals to provide the best care for the lowest costs possible.

Oregon's Local Community Hospitals Ask You to
Vote YES on Measure 35.

Columbia Memorial Hospital
Holy Rosary Medical Center
Legacy Health System
Merle West Medical Center
Peace Harbor Hospital
Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital
Providence Medford Medical Center
Providence Milwaukie Hospital
Providence Portland Medical Center
Providence St. Vincent Medical Center
Providence Newberg Hospital
Providence Health System
Salem Hospital Regional Health Services
Silverton Hospital
St. Elizabeth Health Services
Tuality Healthcare
Mercy Medical Center
Peace Health, Oregon Region
Adventist Medical Center
Good Shepherd Health Care System
Asante Health System
Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center
Ashland Community Hospital
McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center
Willamette Falls Hospital
Santiam Memorial Hospital
Willamette Valley Medical Center
Grande Ronde Hospital
Mid-Columbia Medical Center
Cascade Healthcare Community

(This information furnished by Ken Rutledge, President, Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.)