I am a student at Willamette University. Measure 101 sums up my concern for my generation being on the hook for decades of failed leadership and short-sighted policy in Salem.

This referendum allows the people to hold our government accountable. In a largely party-line vote, the legislature knowingly increased the cost of health coverage for hundreds of students right across the street on my campus and thousands more across the state. This tax only adds to the already huge burden of tuition costs, which is driving my generation into crippling debt. To make matters worse, our government has put our low-income Medicaid recipients at risk.

The governor’s administration and the Oregon Health Authority has mismanaged hundreds of millions of dollars, which has jeopardized their health coverage. Then they turn around and force middle-class Oregonians to pay for their mistakes. The idea that thousands of people will lose their health care is just not true. There is enough money in the budget to plug the hole temporarily. Voting down this measure will tell Salem, “Do better!” They must craft a better solution to this issue during the upcoming legislative sessions.

Join my generation by telling our leaders we want policies that focus on long term solutions, not short-term band aids. We want a government that takes responsibility for their mistakes and works to find equitable ways to help those in need. Join college students and millennials in voting no on health care taxes.

Dru Draper

Albany (Jan. 9)

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