Category Archives: Health care

A Cop Shop Under Siege

If a mentally ill man – armed with a weapon or just his fists, legs and deranged anger – had burst into the meeting hall where the Community Oversight Advisory Board recently gathered, there’s no doubt who would have been expected to deal with him. The police. Five Portland police officers are on the 20-member […]

Blue Hours and Alien Boys

When it comes to the mentally ill, nobody is singing, “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.” No, when it comes to crazy people on the street, whether or not they’re our brothers, we don’t want to carry them. We call the cops. In Portland, police have been accused by the U.S. Department of Justice of […]

Tax Bill Comes Due For Obamacare

My one-year experiment with Obamacare ended on tax day with me writing a check to the IRS for $5,424. More than half of that – $3,000 – went to reimburse the government for an Affordable Care Act health insurance policy that provided me little in the way of medical coverage. It didn’t bother me to […]

Intoxicated by Money

From the second floor of 24-Hour Fitness on McLoughlin Boulevard in Portland, you can look across the river and see Oregon Health & Science University on the hill, a reminder of what awaits even the fittest and healthiest of us. Eventually, the human body wears out. No matter how superior your genes, how devoted you […]

Who’s the Freeloader?

When Richard Nixon, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama all dreamed of creating a more affordable health care system for Americans, they probably didn’t envision a cheerleader like Greg Schoenberg. He’s an insurance broker, and he smells opportunity. There are health plans to be sold, and Schoenberg is doing his part as a registered agent with […]

A Toast to Health Care

Happy Hour at a bar called the High Dive in Southeast Portland – what better place to apply for health insurance through Cover Oregon. That’s where I signed up for insurance after seeing an invitation on the Internet from a group called Working America. Within minutes of registering for a 5:30 p.m. slot, I received […]

Streetcar to the Loony Bin

Nobody is flying over the cuckoo’s nest in Portland. Especially the police, who are caught between two special-needs groups. On one side is Portland’s homeless population, many of whom are mentally ill or on drugs. On the other side are the Portlanders who seek to be the envy of the rest of the world (or […]

AG’s Race Goes Up in Smoke

If politics makes for strange bedfellows, Ellen Rosenblum’s husband might be wondering who she’s curling up with, now that she’s running for Oregon Attorney General. Or perhaps Richard Meeker doesn’t care. As publisher of Willamette Week newspaper he’ll gladly take money from advertisers selling the hottest girls (“Give in to your wildest fantasies!”) or pushing […]

Dr. Strangelove Will See You Now

How sacred is your life? How much should be spent to insure your health? With the continuing debate over President Obama’s health care reform, the questions are worth considering. Personally, my life isn’t as sacred as it used to be. A few months after Obama’s health care reform passed, my insurance carrier dropped me because […]

Good Morning, Heartache

The media love anniversary stories, and this month they have been revisiting the War on Drugs, which just turned 40. The gist of many of these stories is: The war on drugs has been a war on black men, and it’s time to end the war. Many stories cite the racial inequities of harsher penalties for dealing […]