Unprecedented health care measure dies in Oregon Senate

SALEM, Ore. — Oregonians won’t decide whether to amend the state Constitution to make health care a fundamental right after a bill creating such a ballot measure died in committee, with senators worried it would invite lawsuits against the state.

Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Health Care Committee, said Tuesday that she believes health care is a right but that her Democratic Senate colleagues met about the issue and raised concerns.

The House earlier approved the measure 35-25 along party lines, with Democrats voting yes and Republicans no.

Making health care a constitutional right would have been a first among all states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.