Mitch Greenlick reveals cancer diagnosis; continues fight for health care for all

GreenlickmitchThis just popped into the BlueOregon inbox.

State Representative Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland) revealed today that he has been diagnosed with lymphoma and simultaneously announced plans to run for re-election as State Representative. ...

“I expect to move quickly into full remission and to continue to devote my time and energy to serving the people of Oregon, both as a State Representative and as chief petitioner of the HOPE for Oregon Families initiative to improve health care for Oregon residents. ...

The initiative would require the Legislature to develop a plan to strengthen and improve Oregon’s existing health care system and develop cost-effective strategies to improve access for the 615,000 Oregonians without adequate health care.

“We will be tracking the cost of my medical care over the next few months as I fight this disease,” said Greenlick. “I believe the cost of my care has already surpassed $35,000 and will grow greatly over the next months. It gives me a special awareness of what life would be like if I didn’t have good health insurance.

“Every one of us who has health insurance is paying about $1200 a year for people who don’t have coverage. This hidden tax on all of us can be reduced as we improve the health care system. That’s why we are working to put this very strong value statement in the Oregon Constitution,” said Greenlick. At the heart of the HOPE initiative is the statement: “Health care is an essential safeguard of human life and dignity and there is an obligation for the state to ensure that every Oregon resident has access to effective and affordable health care as a fundamental right.” ...

Signatures are already being collected for the constitutional amendment which requires 101,000 valid signatures and would appear on the November 2006 ballot.

Hang in there, Mitch. We're with ya.

(More info on the HOPE initiative can be found on the House Democrats' blog.)

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