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Focus: Washington: Oregon overwhelmed in its first three weeks

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6929.618a (Published 05 March 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:618
  1. J Roberts

    While legislators and lobbyists in Washington try to draw a sketch of health care reform, citizens of one state have nearly overwhelmed their new medical shelter that opened on 1 February.

    After a struggle of more than five years Oregon has begun its programme to provide every person in the state with medical and dental services. The plan is a trade off: instead of providing complete medical care to the poorest few, the state hopes to cover everyone but provide fewer services for them. As one supporter said, “Instead of rationing people, we are rationing services.” Although Oregon got the necessary approval from the federal government to try the scheme for five years, Washington has been lukewarm, partly because many in congress believe that the “health care crisis” does not need such radical measures.

    But when Oregon's …

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