Last year, after Oregon lawmakers found a way to expand health care for the uninsured, state health officials grappled with an ethical issue: Who should be first in line for the coverage? The sickest? The youngest? The poorest?Next year looks better: the impoverished uninsured may have as much as a one-in-four chance of getting health care. The rest can go to the emergency room.
But federal law does not allow the state to discriminate in such fashion. Thus, 18 months ago, a computer in Salem began randomly drawing names from a pool of more than 83,000 uninsured adults who had signed up for this creative but essentially heartless lottery.
In the initial drawing only 3,000 won the precious jackpot -- insurance under the Oregon Health Plan. It meant they had about a one-in-27 chance of winning coverage.
Is This Your Hat?
2 years ago