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On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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Trump & The Mob

http-//www.politico.com#13C5A6C

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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

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Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK on housing segregation & additional

fodder @ Russ

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Case-for-Trump-over-Clinton-is-a-loser

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SB 1533 passes!  

http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=10863

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001


    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 


"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

 

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

 

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

 

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 



"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 



 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."  

- Abraham Lincoln 

  

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

  

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."  

- Edmund Burke  

  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

  

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."  

- Garrison Keillor 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Sunday
Aug262007

THE DEM'S FLORIDA FIASCO

    The rules committee of the Democratic National Committee is well within its rights to sanction the state of Florida for putting their primary too early in January '08.  However, while the legalities are on their side, the politics is not.  It would be incredibly self-destructive for the Dems to tick off Floridians so much that the state's voters would punish them in November '08.
    RAD was witness to a similar act of political folly by the same rules committee in 1972 when they threw out Mayor Daley's (the senior) hand picked delegation in favor of the a more representative delegation chosen by the McGovern-Frazier rules which came out of the '68 fiasco in Chicago.  In the general election, Illinois went for Nixon as did the rest of the nation and Daley sat on his hands! 
    It was fun seeing "His Honor" get kicked, but in retrospect it was stupid politics given what happened to the country under Nixon.  Hopefully a spirit of compromise will enter the political equation within the ranks of the party leaders to keep Florida in play for the Democratic nominee for president.  As we learned in '00 and '04 - Florida along with Ohio are important states if the Ds are to win the West Wing.
    There was a time when RAD would have said politics be damned, principle is everything.  Fortunately most of us grow up after we hit the big "30".  Yes, the front loaded primary and caucus system are a total mess.  But these are the rules that have been in play since '04.  We had four years to change the system.  We didn't.  So we're stuck with this mess of states one-upping each other trying to be first.
    Now after the '08 election is over and we hopefully have a Dem in the West Wing and bigger Dem majorities in the House and Senate chances for reforming our antiquated primary/caucus system might improve.  The best model would be to allow Iowa and New Hampshire to indulge us in their peculiar brand of retail politics but then move to a series of rotating regional primaries every four years spread out between Feburary and June.  
    Such a reasoned approach would require each of the 50 state legislatures to sign off on this concept since it's they who control the election process not Congress.  But that's the future not the now.  For the time being, let's not compound the problem by adopting a PC approach to the current mess and in the process unintentionally ceding key political turf to the GOP's ideologues of corruption, and incompetence.   

Saturday
Aug252007

LINES OF THE DAY

images.jpg

     Jail time, not playing time, for Michael Vick!   If Pete Rose can be banned from MLB and probably the Hall of Fame for gambling, then Vick should be banned from pro football for life, not just suspended indefinitely.
    The claim by the NFL commissioner that Vick was mainly guilty of "poor" judgement" choosing to associate with the wrong people is an absurd claim.  He's an acknowledged criminal, now cooperating with the authorities.  He didn't just use bad judgement, he committed a serious crime!
    And for those who see no difference between hunting and dog fighting rings, hunters are licensed and regulated by the states, while those engaged in dog fights go underground.  If these folks think their "sport" is legit, then let them make their argument in front of state legislatures across the nation!  RAD double dares 'em to do it!
    And finally NIKE has shown some spine by ending its contract with Vick.  Now what about the working conditions and pay rates of NIKE third world factories?   No amount of tribute money from Phil Knight to the U of ORYGUN will turn a corporate thug into a humanitarian.  Just ask Mayor Rob Drake of Beaverton!
    RAD has an idea - let's put Knight and Drake in the ring - with boxing gloves...  The Rose Garden might have a full house for that one!  The guy with the smaller ego wins...  it will be a very close contest!  Maybe Tanya Harding can do the prelimin. 

 

Saturday
Aug252007

PRIORITIES ARE US?

    By Floyd J. McKay, "By All Means, Prioritize," commentary for the Seattle Times
    President George W. Bush was half right when he rejected a proposed gasoline-tax increase to fix the nation's stressed highway bridges.
    "Before we raise taxes, which could affect economic growth, I would strongly urge Congress to examine how they set priorities," said Bush.
    Right on, Mr. President! Now, can we get serious about that and take a long overdue look at how much we are spending on weapons systems and Star Wars stuff that few think will actually work?
    And, yes, Congress needs to get with it as well.
    Minnesota's bridge collapse was another wake-up call telling us we're neglecting domestic needs to spend more on our military than the rest of the world combined. Fiscal insanity is what it should be called.
    It's not just bridges; the entire American infrastructure needs upgrading. Washington is better-off than most states, but our needs are staggering. We all know about Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct and Highway 520 bridge, but consider a few items from the most recent report of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE):
    • The state has a $4 billion backlog of drinking-water infrastructure needs, including up to $14 million to provide safe drinking water in Seattle schools;
    • Wastewater needs total $2.74 billion;
    • Sixty percent of Washington schools have at least one inadequate building and 74 percent have at least one unsatisfactory environmental problem;
    • Rehabilitating the state's most-critical dams would cost $75.9 million — the state lists 31 dams as deficient;
    • Twenty-eight percent of Washington's major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
    Our bridges are actually better than most — the Federal Highway Administration ranks them sixth-best in the country, with 381 structurally deficient bridges out of a total of 7,588, a 5-percent rate. ASCE says 26 percent are "structurally deficient or functionally obsolete."
    Washington's big growth has been since World War II, so many bridges and highways are newer and built to higher standards, and we have a better economy and higher taxes than some states. Minnesota is actually among the states capable of dealing with a major disaster; smaller or poorer states would struggle.
    That's a good reason why the response needs to be federal, not local. If you are on a bridge in Idaho or Wisconsin and it collapses, you're as dead as you would be in Seattle. Dangerous roads, bad drinking water and untreated sewage affect everyone.
    We are constantly setting priorities, declaring "war" on problems — recall the wars on drugs and poverty, not to mention the war on terrorism. With the exception of the latter, these "wars" are never as well-funded as our military.
    Infrastructure doesn't lend itself to catchy "war" rhetoric. But the growth of this country in the past half-century has not been matched by our ability to maintain aging and sometimes-unsafe facilities. As we all know, it's tempting to let our peeling house paint go another year because baby needs a new pair of shoes.
    We also want an easy fix. Shortly after the Minnesota bridge disaster, readers of this newspaper weighed in with ways to care for local needs. In a single day (Northwest Voices, Aug. 7), suggestions included: dump light rail, stop free health care to children of illegal immigrants, use funds planned for a Woodland Park Zoo garage, use bicycle-path funds. None of the above would do the job; a broader funding base is needed.
    A nation spending up to $2 trillion on a foolish war in Iraq and untold billions more to build a "missile shield" in Eastern Europe and support troops in dozens of nations around the world can surely divert some of those funds to support the health and welfare of citizens in our own country — and still maintain a strong military.
    Safe drinking water, safe bridges and highways, and a decent environment for inner-city schools should not need to be put on "war" footing to become a priority. Our economy would benefit from family-wage jobs to repair or replace infrastructure needs, and small communities and rural areas would get help they cannot afford on their own.
    The arms industry is already bloated with profit and the Bush administration is pledging $63 billion in weapons gifts or sales (over 10 years) to the Middle East tinder-box, part of our "peace" initiative in the region. We will spend $70 billion to deploy the controversial Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft — enough to repair nearly half of our 73,784 unsafe bridges.
    The president is correct — Congress needs to examine its priorities. So does he.
    Floyd J. McKay, a journalism professor emeritus at Western Washington University, is a regular contributor to Times editorial pages.
    Editor's Note:  FM's comments about the state of Washington apply equally well to Oregon.  We've allowed our infrastructure to crumble as has the colossus to the north.  And with an additional million people projected to move into the Portland metro area by 2020, addressing these needs will be critical.
    The Portland metro area has done a much better job than Seattle in developing a mass transit system to get cars off the roads.  And with the expansion of light rail, we're way ahead of Seattle.  Anyone who has been to a Mariner's or Seahawk's game knows Seattle has a long way to go to match Portland! 
    But as FM notes it's not merely roads and bridges that are in crises but schools, dams, water and sewer systems and the environment.  Oregon's land use planning system has protected us from Washington's love affair with unregulated sprawl.  But depending on how ballot Measure 49 goes in November Oregon may be in big trouble.
    Vote YES on 49 to stop the "Washingtonfication" of Oregon!
    But the problems are not just infrastructure.  We also need to build MORE affordable housing; expand Oregon's excellent track record of recycling and also deal with global warming issues.  A trip to southern Oregon reminded RAD that air quality is a major issue outside of the Portland metro area. 
    While attending the Oregon Shakespearean Theater in Ashland (3 plays in 3 days), we had two great days - then as the temp went up the air quality went down creating a typical air inversion issue in the Medford-Ashland valley.  My red eyes were a result.  And you can't blame saw mills for it - they aren't there anymore!  
    So yes, let's have a "peace" dividend.  We can do a lot with $12 billion per month in the USA...   

     

     

Monday
Aug202007

IMPEACH ALBERTO

    State Rep. Jeff Merkley (D) who is running against US Senator Gordon Smith (R) has called for the impeachment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.  He joins my own incumbent Congressman David Wu (D) calling for Gonzales' ouster.
    Merkley's opines that Gonzales has "...become an embarrassment.  And worse, he's become the single strongest example of political corruption and abuse of power in the Bush Administration." 
    Merkley's press release asserts that - "Under Gonzales' embarrassing stewardship, they've fired U.S. Attorneys for political reasons.  He's authorized illegal wiretaps of American citizens.  He even tried to strong-arm then-Attorney General John Ashcroft into authorizing the illegal wiretapping program while he lay gravely ill in a hospital bed.  And now he won't tell Congress the whole truth about what's happening on his watch.
    It's time for Alberto Gonzales to be fired. 
    If the President won't fire him, then the Congress should impeach him.
    It's time for the House to pass the impeachment resolution offered by Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA).    
    Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary shall investigate fully whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to impeach Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.
    Only through impeachment proceedings will we be able to hold the Attorney General accountable for his actions.  I applaud Oregon's four Democratic Congressional Members for their early leadership in co-sponsoring the Inslee resolution in the House.
    Earlier this month, the Congress gave the Attorney General additional powers to authorize warrantless wiretaps of Americans.  And just this week, the Los Angeles Times reported that in the Patriot Act reauthorization, the Congress gave the Attorney General the power to expedite death penalty cases - shifting that power away from federal judges.
    Now, more than ever, the American people need an Attorney General that they can trust to do the right thing, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
    It's time for Congress to begin the impeachment of Alberto Gonzales."
    RAD:  If Merkley feels it's time for Alberto to go, why not Bush and Cheney?  That would force his incumbent opponent to take a stand.  Now that would be a real choice for the voters!  How would Gordon Smith defend NOT impeaching all three?  Since Alberto was simply doing the bidding of Dubya et al - why not go after the big enchiladas, not merely the low hanging fruit, Jeff? 

 


Monday
Aug202007

THE OREGON WAY

    images-1.jpgEditor's Note:  Being in the transition from private/employer based health insurance to Medicare, let me pass along some helpful info to Oregonians.  Sometimes the Oregon legislature does the right thing.  Got this info from Oregon State Senator Avil Gordly (I, Portland).  Pass it along! 
    Join the Oregon Prescription Drug Program Purchasing Pool
:  All Oregon residents should become aware of the new expanded Oregon Prescription Drug Program. The expanded Oregon Prescription Drug Program (OPDP), passed by the 2007 Legislature, is in place and open to every person in the state of Oregon, free of charge.
    We took it one step further during the landmark 2007 legislative session and opened the program to the ‘underinsured’ of all ages and income – regardless of whether or not they are already covered by an existing policy.  Every Oregon resident is entitled to join the OPDP purchasing pool to get the best price possible with your free card.
    How do you know if you qualify as being underinsured?  If you do not have health insurance, you qualify.  If you already have insurance and the drug costs more using your present insurance card than it does by using the OPDP card – you’re underinsured.  You can enroll on line at www.opdp.org, or by calling the ODS Companies directly at 1-800-913-4146.
    This is the first concrete step towards our goal of creating universal health care coverage in Oregon, and you owe it to yourself and your family to get a free card and save up to 60% on your prescription purchases.  The average savings is about 30%. These savings are the result of utilizing a large purchasing pool, so everyone will benefit by your enrollment.  The Oregon Prescription Drug Program is administered through the Office for Oregon Health Policy & Research.
    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) regarding the Oregon Prescription Drug Program Purchasing Pool:
  Eligibility:  To qualify for this program you must be an Oregon resident with no prescription drug coverage other than Medicare Part D, if applicable; OR you must be an Oregon resident who considers yourself underinsured for prescription drug coverage.
    Each person may enroll online at www.opdp.org, or by calling The ODS Companies directly at 1-800-913-4146. A parent may enroll a child using one of these options. A guardian, personal representative and/or attorney-in-fact may enroll a person in their charge in the same ways. Braille or large print Call 1-800-913-4146 for an alternate format.
    Am I an Oregon resident?  You are an Oregon resident if you reside in Oregon  What is meant by “underinsured”? With the 2007 passage of SB 362 the underinsured are now able to enroll in the OPDP.  If an Oregonian considers himself or herself underinsured for Rx coverage they may enroll and use their OPDP cards to receive a discount on prescriptions they are purchasing.
    If a member has Rx insurance they should verify with their carrier that those Rx purchases made using the OPDP discount card will be accumulated toward their out of pocket expense.  Although the OPDP discounts are market competitive, if a member has an insured benefit they may also have a competitive discount that could offer an equal or better rate on their specific prescription.
    Members should be wise shoppers and see which card brings the best price for their prescriptions.  This program is for people without health insurance or those who have insurance but could use help paying for prescription drugs in specific situations.  
   Some situations could include the following:

  • They are on Medicare and fall into the “gap” where they pay 100 percent of drug costs. (Many Medicare prescription drug plans have a “gap’ in coverage after drug costs reach a certain point and before catastrophic coverage begins and the plan pays the bulk of costs.)
  • They need a prescription drug their insurance plan formulary doesn’t cover.  Note that they could not use this cost to accumulate toward their out of pocket expense for their Plan’s deductible since the Rx wasn’t covered.
  • They have a deductible and use the drug discount program to reduce their out of pocket costs.  Note, their carrier may have a discount for out of pocket expenses too.  They may only use one card not both.
  • They are waiting to have a pre-existing condition covered by their insurance plan.
  • They are a new employee lacking insurance and are waiting to become eligible for the employer plan.
  • Their medical coverage does not offer Rx benefits.
  • All prescription drugs prescribed by a licensed Oregon clinician are eligible for a discount through this program. 
    When do I become a member of OPDP?  When does coverage start?  Coverage starts as soon as you receive your I.D. Card. How long should it take to receive an I.D. card?  You should receive an I.D. card within one week.

    What pharmacy will I go to?  A brochure with the list of pharmacies is included with the I.D. card.  The pharmacies are also listed on our website: www.opdp.org or call customer service at 800-913-4284.  New pharmacies can join at any time, so view the website for the most current list of pharmacies.  You can also ask the pharmacy that you usually do business with if they are part of the OPDP.  You can advise them to go to our website if they wish to join our network.
    Prescription Coverage and Cost:  Are all my prescriptions covered?  All prescriptions prescribed by a licensed Oregon clinician are eligible for a discount.  This program does not give discounts for over-the-counter drugs, which are drugs you can purchase without a prescription.  Will this program cost me anything to join?  There is no membership fee for enrolling in this program.  Should a nominal fee ever become necessary you will have no obligation to remain in the program.
    How do I find out if I could get a cheaper drug?  Ask your physician or pharmacist if there is a generic or equivalent drug that may be cheaper than the drug you are prescribed?  Or, if you are a member you can go to www.odscompanies.com and register.  Once registered, click on “Pharmacy” in the top blue bar.  Next, click on “Formulary Look Up” tab under Resources.  This will take you to the site to look up drug costs, and will show you if a generic is available for a brand name drug.  If you have trouble using this site, please call 1-800-913-4284.
    How much of a discount will I receive?  Discounts will vary depending on whether a drug is generic or brand.  The greatest discounts are on generics and they can be as high as 60%!  The average discount is probably about 30%
    What is a brand Rx or a generic Rx?  Brand drugs are still on patent so they are only manufactured by one company.   Because there is no competition, these are the most expensive drugs. Generic drugs are made when a drug comes off of patent.  Several manufacturers can now make the drug so competition drives the cost down.  The FDA finds generics as safe as brand name drugs.  Also, evidence-based research has shown that higher cost brand drugs are NO MORE effective than lower cost alternatives.
    The pharmacy I went to charged me more for an Rx than the pharmacy that I went to last month. In the instance described in the question above here is what could have happened? 
    On a given day, the OPDP discounted price will be the same from pharmacy to pharmacy.  However the OPDP rate is based on a discount off of the Average Wholesale Price and that can change day to day.  If a pharmacy has a special program that offers the drug for less than OPDP’s price the pharmacy must sell it to you for the lower amount according to their contract with OPDP.
    Keep in mind that drug prices frequently change.  Also remember that pharmacy promotions are generally on certain drugs but not all drugs.  Just like when you’re shopping for groceries you will see some products on sale but not all of them.  Your OPDP discount card will bring you a discount on all Rx.  The best discounts are on generic drugs.
    Frequently Asked Questions about OPDP and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage:  If I enroll in Medicare Part D drug coverage why would I want to continue to use my OPDP discount card?  The OPDP discount card may give you a better discount than your Plan gives you when you are paying 100% of the drug cost.
    You will pay 100% of your drug costs when you are meeting a Plan’s deductible or during the “gap in coverage”.  For some of the Part D plans this gap happens when individual’s prescription drug expenses are between $2,250 to $5,100 in a given year and they are responsible for 100% of their drug costs.
    If I am enrolled in Medicare Part D drug coverage and I use my OPDP discount card why do I have to send my receipt to my Part D Health Plan?  If you want your OPDP expenses to apply towards your Medicare Part D costs, you must send your receipt to your Medicare Plan.
    Right now, the only way to get this information to your Plan is to send it in by mail.    If that changes we will notify you.  In the meantime it is very important to send the paper receipt to your Plan and notify them that it needs to be credited toward your Medicare deductible and out–of-pocket expense.
    What if I am enrolled in a Medicare Part D Plan and I want to use my OPDP discount card on a drug not covered by my Medicare Plan drug list?  If the prescription drug is not on your Medicare Plan’s drug list, it cannot be counted toward your out-of-pocket expenses.
    However, every Medicare Plan has an exception and appeal process that you can follow to ask the Plan to pay for drugs that are not on their list.  If the Plan approves your exception, your drug costs can count toward your Medicare deductible.
    What if I am enrolled in a Medicare Part D Plan and I want to go to a pharmacy that is not on that Plan’s network but it is on the OPDP network?  You may go to a pharmacy on the OPDP plan and use your discount card.  However, you should check with your Medicare Plan if you intend to use a pharmacy not on their list to make sure they will honor the receipt for your prescription as Part D expense.
    I’m confused and don’t know whether to join Medicare Part D or not, what should I do?  You can call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227) or your Medicare health plan for questions about your Medicare options.  You can also call the Senior Health Insurance Benefit Assistance (SHIBA) program at 1-800-722-4134 for assistance.
    I don’t want to sign up for Medicare Part D, can I stay on the OPDP?  You may remain an OPDP member and use your card for discounts at OPDP pharmacies.  However, you need to know that individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D who choose not to enroll by May 15, 2006 will have a 1% per month penalty applied to their premium when they do enroll.  In other words, if you choose to enroll a year later, your premium will be 12% higher.