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Make Oregon Great Again
Saturday, June 22, 2024 at 9:30 am
Our mission is to encourage all voters across Oregon to get involved in the 2024 election. Speaking is Mike Lindell, Joe Hoft, Mark Mackay, Donna Kreitzberg, Sarah Phillips, John Lott, Dave Duquette, Andy Pollack.
Jackson County Fairgrounds

Election Integrity Expert Dr Frank in Polk County!
Tuesday, June 25, 2024 at 6:30 pm
Dr Douglass Frank, renowned scientist, election integrity expert, and noble peace prize nominee, is presenting his data analysis of Polk County! Dr frank has been working incessantly for election reform with grassroots teams in over forty-eight states, earning the title of “The Johnny Appleseed of Election Integrity.” He’s met in person with dozens of Secretaries of State, Attorneys General, legislators, and hundreds of local election officials currently helping 300 counties across the nation. He is coming to Polk County June 25 at Life Church at 6:30pm We need patriots and citizens that are concerned about election integrity to come and hear Dr. Frank speak on Polk County election results, Oregon election results and problems with our voter roles. His analysis and evidence is quite compelling! 
Life Church 255 College Dr NW Salem, OR 97304

Depot Day - Celebrating Cane Berries
Saturday, June 29, 2024 at 9:00 am
Cane berries are an important crop in Marion County both currently and historically. Marionberries were named for Marion County. Come celebrate Cane Berries with Brooks Historical Society. A FREE event with Berry themed games, Pie baking contest, Pie eating contest, and Bumper Crop Betty and Master Gardeners will be there. Marionberry cobbler will be available to purchase. While there visit some of the other 13 museums on site.
Brooks Historical Society Powerland Heritage Park 3995 Brooklake Road, Brooks Oregon 97303

Lincoln County Fair
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 4-6
Lincoln County Fairgrounds

Independence Day
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 11:59 pm
Independence Day

Marion County Fair
Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 11-14
Oregon State Fair & Expo Center

Jackson County Fair
Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 16-21
Jackson County Fairgrounds - The Expo

Columbia County Fair
Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 17-21
Columbia County Fairgrounds

Linn County Fair
Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 18-20
Linn County Expo Center

Washington County Fair
Friday, July 19, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 19-28
Washington County Fairgrounds - Westside Commons

Coos County Fair
Tuesday, July 23, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 23-27
Coos County Fairgrounds

Curry County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-27
Curry County Fairgrounds - Event Center on the Beach

Hood River County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-27
Hood River County Fairgrounds

Jefferson County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-27
Jefferson County Fair Complex

Lane County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-28
Lane Events Center

Clatsop County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 30 - August 3
Clatsop County Fair & Expo

Malheur County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 30 - August 3
Malheur County Fairgrounds - Desert Sage Event Center

Benton County Fair & Rodeo
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 3, 2024
Benton County Event Center & Fairgrounds

Deschutes County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 4
Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center

Union County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 3
Union County Fairgrounds

Yamhill County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 3
Yamhill County Fairgrounds

Klamath County Fair
Thursday, August 1, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 1-4
Klamath County Fair

Wallowa County Fair
Friday, August 2, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 2-10
Wallowa County Fairgrounds

Baker County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 4-9
Baker County Fairgrounds

Harney County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 4-9
Harney County Fairgrounds

Sherman County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 19-24
Sherman County Fairgrounds

Crook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Crook County Fairgrounds

Douglas County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex

Grant County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Grant County Fairgrounds

Josephine County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-11
Josephine County Fairgrounds & Events Center

Polk County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Polk County Fairgrounds

Tillamook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Tillamook County Fairgrounds

Umatilla County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Umatilla County Fairgrounds

Wheeler County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Wheeler County Fairgrounds

Clackamas County Fair
Tuesday, August 13, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 13-17
Clackamas County Event Center

Morrow County Fair
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 14-17
Morrow County Fairgrounds

Wasco County Fair
Thursday, August 15, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 15-17
Wasco County Fairgrounds

Gilliam County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 29-31
Gilliam County Fairgrounds

Lake County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 29 - September 1
Lake County Fairgrounds

Oregon State Fair
Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 31 - September 9
Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center

Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla
Saturday, September 7, 2024 at 5:00 pm
Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla 5pm-9pm
Albany, OR

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Quality-Adjusted Life-Year Is On The Chopping Block
Oregon’s use of QALY criticized by U.S. Health and Human Services

Remember the 2008 campaign for President when Sarah Palin was made fun of for speaking out about death panels? She was referring to the Medicaid qualification guidelines. In 1992, Oregon submitted a Medicaid waiver application relying on a Quality-Adjusted Life-Year (QALY) formula to prioritize coverage and services for those whose lives were deemed of “higher value.”

In 2011, HB 2100 passed as a pharmacy bill that also establish the Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC) to develop clinical practice guidelines in its prioritized list of services to encourage effective and efficient medical evaluation and treatment. They were directed to report to the Oregon Health Authority to prioritize health services for the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). It called for HERC to develop a medical technology assessment process opening the door to use QALY in the Oregon Health Plan.

The purpose of HERC was to establish benchmark rates to achieve the goal that Oregonians have access to high quality, effective health care at an affordable cost, whether that care is purchased by the state or by the private sector. The bill seemed innocent enough that it passed unanimously seemingly unaware they were creating the foundation for "death panels." It was also the narrative used as the foundation for Measure 111 in 2022 when voters passed universal health care not realizing they were opening a permanent door for priority rating – the same year the Legislature gave free healthcare to anyone in the world who comes to Oregon.

Oregon has used a QALY formula over the last 22 years to determine what would and would not be covered by the Oregon Health Plan. Even the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services thinks it is a flawed scoring system used by economists to determine cost-effectiveness of proposed medical treatments. Healthcare payers use the scores to determine who is eligible for healthcare resources, similar to auto insurers using credit scores for issuing coverage.

Based on clinical and practical analyses, QALY calculations measure how much a proposed treatment may improve someone’s quality of life by arbitrarily weighing how long that person has spent in different states of health.

The formula uses a year of “perfect health” as worth 1, while a year of “less than perfect” health—such as living with a disability or chronic illness—is worth less than 1. Death equals zero. The final QALY score equals the number of years a treatment may extend a patient’s life multiplied by determined quality of life.

In 2017, Oregon removed an explicit reference to QALY from its cost-effectiveness framework—but the Health Evidence Review Commission, which guides the Oregon Health Plan’s benefit decisions, continues to rely upon QALY-driven prioritization scores.

Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) has been working to get the Oregon Health Authority to stop using QALY scores since the inception of the Oregon Health Plan, with no success. They testified that QALY expands existing healthcare inequities by perversely impacting or denying care to people with chronic disease or disabilities, and older adults. Because of the greater value QALY places on medical treatments that extend the lives of people without disabilities than on those that benefit people with disabilities, these groups are deemed “less worthy” to receive insurance coverage for new medicines or treatments. The illegalities of QALY use are well documented, and The National Council on Disability has repeatedly warned it undermines and violates major U.S. disability and civil rights laws—including the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Senate Bill 1508 is the first step in limiting the use of QALY by the Oregon Health Authority. It states, the authority may not consider a quality of life in general measure, either directly or by considering a source that relies on a quality of life in general measure. It also requires the Health Evidence Review Commission to not rely upon any quality of life in general measures, either directly or by considering research or analysis that relies on a quality of life in general measure including value of a service; they must receive public comment on selection of vendor that provides research or analysis tool; and allow comments on the research or health economic measures to be relied upon in the commission’s decision-making.



Has the “death panels” run its course for such a change in how to cut medical costs? Factor in the passing of universal health care and free medical care for an increasing number of unhealthy immigrants, affirming care transitioning mistakes, and increased suicides. QALY may no longer serve their agenda. Plus, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services criticized Oregon’s use of QALY because it ‘‘in substantial part values the life of an individual with a disability less than the life of an individual without a disability. This premise is discriminatory and inconsistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

But, SB 1508 isn’t without tradeoffs. Senator Dennis Linthicum (R-Klamath Falls) points out that the bill also caps insulin at $35 a vial from insurance providers, which has the effect of squeezing other plan participants to meet the difference in cost that directly helps patients but doesn't solve the problem of the high cost. In other words, we only moved the problem from one spot on the map to another, as manufacturers enjoy continued market protection.

One thing that seems to be agreed upon is that QALY types of scores have no place influencing what conditions and treatments the Oregon Health Plan will cover. SB 1508 is headed to the House floor for its final vote.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-02-22 10:26:51Last Update: 2024-02-22 16:02:38

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