Oregon HERC Opioid Proposal Coming Up Thursday—Protestors Are Gearing Up

Oregon HERC Opioid Proposal Coming Up Thursday—Protestors Are Gearing Up

By Ed Coghlan.

Two Oregon women—who both have chronic pain and have been creating a groundswell of opposition to their state’s attempt to force taper opioid usage in the state’s Medicaid population—are mobilizing Oregon’s chronic pain community for this week’s hearing.

The state’s Health Evidence Review Commission—which reports to the Oregon Health Authority—will hold its hearing at the Wilsonville Training Center, Rooms 111-112, 29353 SW Town Center Loop E Wilsonville, Oregon 97070.

Their message: We need the chronic pain community to show up and protest.

The two women - who do not wish their names to be released for fear of recrimination against their doctors (but have been in constant communication with the National Pain Report) - the two chronic pain advocates will be arriving at 7:30am, and believe that a robust turnout by the Oregon chronic pain community, doctors who treat them and some national pain patient advocacy leaders may help Commission members actually hear—as they say—“from the people whose lives they are voting on.”

There is very limited seating inside but they are working on providing a video live stream so that all of us will be able to see and hear what’s going on.

“We have arranged for some brilliant Doctors to come and speak on our behalf. We ask that you allow the doctors journalists and reporters to the fill small numbers of seats. Again, we will be trying to live stream the meeting so that you won’t miss anything,” they said.

Once the initial part of the hearing is over, advocates will be going to a nearby park to have a picnic, relax and talk with reporter about how these changes would impact them.

“We will then head back to the meeting around 1:00pm and be ready to hold our signs for HERC members to see us as they walk into their meeting at 1:30. It is important to show the HERC members who we are,” they said.

In talking with the leaders, they believe that Thursday is the moment that matters not only for Oregon’s Medicaid population for the all of the chronic pain patients in the Beaver State, because they and other national leaders believe whatever happens to the Medicaid population will be mimicked by other insurers.

The public comment period has ended, but if you’d like to send a comment to Oregon leaders, please share your thoughts in our comment section.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Lynne mathis

Can’t be there I live in. FLORIDA but my thoughts n prayers are with .my brothers and sisters good luck may god help us all

Cheri Furr

Oregon is screwing with a protected class of people: the disabled, most of whom are on Medicaid because they have an incurable disease that causes massive, widespread pain, pain that most people cannot even imagine. Many of these people live alone, might be elderly, can’t drive, and are evidently thought by their government to be a financial drain on society. Many cannot advocate for themselves. They could have been in a bad car accident or a botched surgical procedure that caused irreversible damage. They could have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), sickle cell anemia, lupus, have had a bad needle stick directly into a nerve, cancer, spinal stenosis, POTS, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, degenerative disc disease, Crohn’s disease, MS, a TBI, debilitating migraines. They are human beings first and foremost and deserve to be treated with dignity. They deserve to have qualified doctors treat them and not be treated like it is their fault or in their headslike they’ve done something wrong. Not one person I know with debilitating chronic pain wants to be like this! They are trying what, until recently, their doctors told them to do. They took opiate pills prescribed to them, as directed, or fentanyl patches. These drugs are safe or they wouldn’t be approved by the FDA as treatment for severe chronic pain. Opiates have been used safely for thousands of years. There IS no maximum dose. Some people have malabsorption problems and must take higher doses. For the CDC to say no more than 90 MMEs is like requiring everyone with bad eyesight wear the same prescription eyeglasses or for all diabetics to take the same amount of insulin. This is WRONG! Painkiller doses must be titrated for each individual—there is no “one size fits all.” Everyone doesn’t wear size six shoe, do they? CPPs are being treated like criminals and so are any doctors who tried to listen to individual needs and help them. It IS as bad as Nazi Germany, where the Jews, imentally infirm, homosexuals, Poles, gypsies and African-Americans were taken to camps and gassed as insignificantly as if they were the vermin the Nazis told people they were. Not just 6M, but 11M PEOPLE across Europe! The chronically ill cannot be treated this way! These are sick people through no fault of their own. Will we allow them to die by suicide because they can no longer bear the pain? Or from side effects of untreated pain like stroke and heart attack? It will be your state next! Pets are treated better! For shame!


It’s obvious from the discussion that the pain community no longer can get out of bed to go to something of this nature. Can I ask why we couldn’t arrange rides or at least some kind of van leaving from Central places like Washington Square. Also if we identify ourselves at the meeting certainly going to be Troopers outside the door to pull over any people who are brave enough to start their car after all they’re willing to kill us so it makes sense that they’d also want to put us in jail


Yes people the government is killing the drain on their dept..think about it how many millions are on pain pills… now how many of them are on government backed insurance, ie: medicare/medicaid? It only makes since. Take away our pills we die horribly and slow. BUT they know most won’t suffer so suicide is a ok with them. One less drain on society. They are putting the fake messages out about pain people and jesus people are buying into….I myself is faced with the same 3 choices that Meredith Lawrence and husband was faced with
Turn to street drugs
Suffer horribly
Suicide. He chose the latter.
Bless you all pain warriors!!

The Mexican drug cartels will make billions from this bill and like to thank the legislators and offer all those who voted in our favor free vacations to Acapulco or any resort you choose. And Satan says he has a very special place for all those legislators who voted for suicide and suffering. May God have mercy on their souls. No just kidding. Burn 🔥 Baby Burn 🔥 God have mercy on the people who elected self serving idiots into office not the self righteous politicians. When will the rest of America stop this Nazi madness.

Denise calder

Please don’t fail on reporting the increase in suicide and heroin use since Oregon’s politicians decided what is best for paon sufferers.


I already did!!!!…


This shows that THE STATE OF OREGON has lost “it’s way” once again……..when i was executive Assistant to Gov’s Tom McCall and Vic Atiyeh……legislation like this would have never “seen the light of day”……..Today, Oregon has become a Northern California major city………Oregon has lost its way…in the real world………….
W Hulley
Executive Assistant to the President (Retired)
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-4955

Anna Webb

I wish I could be there, but I have no transportation, but I would like to give you my full support. I also am being tapered off my pain meds, I am stressed out wondering if I have enough to last me through the month.My pain level is 7 instead of a 2 or 3.I will not live without my pain meds. I hope we get this fixed not just for me,but for every one in my same situation. Good luck and thank everyone who is fighting for us.

Clara King

I cannot physically attend this public show of protest, honestly because of exactly why there is a protest.
My ability to function has been reduced to a minute to minute basis with only a small portion of time out of bed for basis functions. My daily functions have gradually reduced as my medication was reduced, to now being basically bed bound. Before my medication was drastically reduced due to the new forced guideline the probability of me attending this function had a high possibility. Before the forced tapering I was able to live a life that was not pain free but was very fulfilled through what function I was able to preform. My dedicated doctor & I were able to work together to keep me at a somewhat “normal” functioning level but now that relationship has been reduced to. exactly what the guidelines states “no exception allowed” as if we are all made one size fits all. Now due to my new bed bound life there’s not even a slim chance I could travel to attend this function to protest against the very thing that has contributed to the life I exist in today, forced to live in constant pain. I know there are thousands of others out there that are living this same incredibly frustrating, constantly remindful and excruciatingly painful existence we now know has become our new normal. Please consider your decision when it comes to this matter before you today, this vote that has been placed before you. You have the power & ability to drastically change how people are able to live the life’s they been given. You today can decide weather a person that has been diagnosed with chronic pain, ALL not of their own choosing, hold that power “LIVING” or. just “EXISTING” in chronic pain

Cynthia Knutson

I’ve faith. I’m praying that the ears of the people would be attentive & their hearts touched by these women & what they have to say about chronic pain & how this country seems to be taking our rights AWAY everyday. This is NOT what HE wants folks these are corrupt people w/ a lot of money & they feel the power so they are committing genocide like the Germans did so long ago to the Jewish people; I guess history is doomed to repeat itself because now, using the excuse of “addiction, they’re ALL a bunch of drug addicts” I hear this & I want to go give these drunk on their power people some real pain if you’ve ever seen the show” Prison Break” you know in 1 episode Mahone found the assassin who killed his young son so he tortures him basically to death. I’m not saying this is right but watching that episode does give you some satisfaction because let me tell you there is a shadowy bunch of people just like Sylla was TODAY in the govt.
They’re the ones that are running this country. I don’t think even if Trump were to change his mind that he’d be able to help he’s NOT the one in POWER!
Now I wish I’d NEVER voted for Trump but I guess they want to take all our rights away including those to relief from pain. I cannot take NSAIDS you want to know why? Because they chewed up my stomach so much that if I take any NSAIDS not do I get very sick but I get Peptic ulcers Those things will KILL me my Dr told me! But then what r u supposed to do in MY situation? Also my kidneys are already compromised @ this point I’ve a urostomy (no bladder due to IC another disease of pain) but I’m hoping he will listen if we can get a forum to air our grievances. Isn’t that something by law we are guaranteed? This is SO mean spirited its not even about law its about torture! Esp us Medicare patients I’m sure we’re next we will be put on a taper & if we don’t we’ll lose our SSI! This is so much “overkill” it almost seems paranoid! How insane! Saw about this Dr that made me see RED who thinks EVERYONE should be tapered off any and all opioid medication !EVERYONE IS ADDICTED!
NO not true!LIES!
Total ABUSE of power & I thought the govt loved to support Big Pharma! I guess now they think they can make more money selling that stupid Narcan drug at 70.00 per dose when to save their life might take more than 1 dose & at what PRICE do you put a human life?!I This is prohibition again!

David Cole

Please inform these incompetent boobs the reason they have a disproportional amount of drug-related deaths among Medicaid recipients is because a lot of Medicaid recipients are drug addicts and have never worked a day in their life, that’s why they can’t collect Medicare. Inform these idiots that most of the Medicaid patients that died of drug related deaths did not die from a legitimate RX opioid pain medication prescription. Tell them to do background checks and find out who’s been arrested for drug crimes. You’re not going to solve the drug-related problem among the Medicaid patients without getting the drug addicts the help that they need. Stop blaming legitimate pain patients and people that truly need Medicaid because they’ve been injured or were born with horrible diseases, because of people that have been addicted to drugs their entire lives. This is nothing less than McCarthyism. What you people are doing is inviting cartels into our country and killing pain patients. Find out the truth. Stop working off the CDC guidelines. With the CDC admitting they’ve overestimated RX opioid deaths by 50% since 2006, and their own researchers say it’s probably higher than that, really make these guidelines worthless. They were written by nine addiction specialist with the damn agenda. Had it not been for whistleblowers the CDC wouldn’t even have been admitted this. Get your head out of your [edit]. This proposal will get good legitimate Medicaid recipients killed.

The two chronic pain advocates intend to arrive ~7:30am.


Please don’t sign this unfair bill that will hurt many chronic pain and disabled people of Oregon I’m not in your state but am already struggling every day too just get by the Governor of my state will follow your lead and when it happens I won’t last long I know their are many people in Oregon in my same position the signing of the bill will be a death sentence for them please find the compassion in your heart too look out side the box and think if you or someone you love was in constant pain and you had too suffer or watch them suffer on a daily bases it wears your body down and lowers your immune system I can tell you since I’m not medicated as well as I used too be I have never been so sick with constant Flews colds sores on my skin on top of my permanent disability’s my life is a shodow of what it used too be and the strain on my body will kill me a lot sooner I’m sure the chronic pain patients of Oregon can relate too my story I pray for them daily and all of you too that you may find understanding of our problems and limitations and needs too survive


How any government can say a person must sit and suffer in pain is totally inhumane. You call that a democracy. The people making these decisions are barbaric, delusional, and totally ignorant to the fact of pain management and the use of opioids. There are enough laws in place that make them hard enough to obtain for medical use, and now this. What you are going to create is nothing but a hot bed for drug trafficking of all types. You think prohibition was bad back in the day, well if you pass these types of stringent laws the black market is going to have a field day in the State of Oregon. Have you people no compassion for your fellow mankind and taxpaying citizens? I say to all those who struggle in the State of Oregon “fight like hell.” Be strong and vote these people out in coming elections. Protest. Call local tv stations, write to magazines, anything to get the word out nationally that People Need Opioid Medication and have a RIGHT to it. SHAME ON THE GOVERNMENT OF OREGON! I will not be visiting or taking a vacation there since you have no compassion or humanity for fellow mankind.

Lauri L Blackwell

I commented before the closer. I just want to wish these ladies all the luck in the world!!! My thoughts and prayers are are with them!!! I am in Colorado or I would be there!!! I never dreamed they would pick poor people that have pain that never leaves them would be treated in this inhumane way. Scarey stuff they put us through!!! I am on Medicaid and my perception if they were to let me pay out of pocket would be my rent and utilities combined medication that helps me move or a roof over my head?!? As I said I will be standing with you even though I am more than a thousand miles away. Love and light to ALL


This proposal is so cruel; it’s insane. i thought, when hearing it, that it was a bad dream. What do they intend people with severe pain to do? Kill themselves?

William Dorn

This country signed treaties protecting patients rights to pain medicines. Now they are violating them. This government can not be trusted to do anything that helps people unless money goes into their pockets.

Cindy Deim

There was something like this done by the FDA. https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/NewsEvents/ucm603093.htm
It was nice because it was also a webinar. Many people spoke about their pain medication being taken away. There were doctors there also. I hope it made some kind of dent in all this craziness.


What time do we show up? I must have missed that one. Participants that cannot reveal their names because they’re afraid their doctors will kill them! What on Earth has this country come to? Our so-called elected representatives have become some kind of World War II reincarnated dictators hell-bent on riding the world of the sick peeople in pain. Do we not have any human rights left in this country? Don’t pained lives matter? Sick, sick, sick!


God help those women in their righteous fight. How I wish I could join them! Impossible for me. I hope any and all with the means and ability to join them do. All our rhetoric has so far accomplished nothing.

I’m making my posters & gathering stuff to try to tolerate the heat. Standing around is going to be utter Hell, but I’ve got to try to stop this insanely extremist -and vilely discriminatory against the poor- proposed policy. I actually have no hope that anything will deter their course, but have to try.


Aside from this current mess of the government restricting pain relief, how did we let ourselves get into this position of having to appeal to an authority to have our pain control needs addressed? So, what: people who are poor communicators/convincers are somehow less entitled to adequate pain relief than those who are more convincing?

This link is to an article written by someone with a VERY alternative perspective about medicine and pharmaceuticals; I thought it quite thought-provoking. FTR, the author is not a Scientologist or Christian Scientist, nor is he otherwise ideologically-disinclined towards medicine (as far as I know):

Just to add, please note that there are two parts to the HERC meeting. The first starts at 8:00am and is the Value-based Benefits Subcommittee that will be discussing the main issues of the Chronic Pain Task Force (CPTF) findings at 8:15 and then changes to coverage for Urine Drug Testing (UDT) at 11:30. There is supposed to be public comment after each topic per their own notes on the agenda: “Note: Public comment will be taken on each topic per HERC policy at the time at which that topic is discussed.” They will take a short break between sessions at 1pm and resume at 1:30pm. That will be the formal HERC meeting where the subcommittee will present it’s CPTF report at 1:45 and then review the UDT recommendations at 2:30. There is supposed to be public comment time after each of those topics are discussed too. While it will be difficult for most chronic pain patients to sit through both sessions, it would be good to have people present before, during, and after both sessions.

Ferri jack

Chronic pain patients aren’t the problem. We rarely abuse our prescriptions. These are facts. Opiates have been around for thousands of years. When you force a taper you are not looking at the pain patient. You are looking at hysteria and looking at the wrong people.The right people to look at are the ones who keep perpetrating this 50 year old drug war. All you are doing is taking the easy way. Which is usually wrong
All I can say is pay more attention to facts and reality.

This is all about money. “Quality of care” is used to justify their reasons for these actions. Medicare has stated that it will be “following” the CDC Guidelines, but that doesn’t mean they are cutting all their patients OFF opiates. Medicare plans to continue payments for opiates but only up to the 90 MME threshold recommended as the maximum that family practitioners and non-pain specialists should be prescribing. That means if your opiate prescription exceeds 90 MME then Medicare will pay up to that level, but anything beyond that will be paid out of your own pocket. Why doesn’t the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) adopt that type of plan? Because that means that they are still spending millions of dollars a year on chronic pain medications and visits for care that they don’t WANT to pay for anymore. OHP patients often get shorter visits to their providers than any commercial plan patients. Why? Because OHP pays so little for those visits that providers don’t want to waste more time with those patients. I see chart notes all the time that are incomplete, not properly updated with details of medications and more (despite claiming that they did “reconcile” the record), documenting one thing in one section and then basically contradicting themselves in another section, and multiple examples of “cutting and pasting” parts of previous chart notes to speed through the documentation process. That makes the visit look longer and more complete, but in reality less really occurred. Why? More documentation makes it look good to the reviewer (if they are ever really reviewed before payment), so the provider and their clinic get more money. I talk to patients all the time who say their provider hasn’t touched them in months, but almost every chart note says a physical examination was performed, some very extensive ones, so how can that be true? Medical FRAUD is rampant in Oregon and licensing boards could care less. Providers rush through their visits, cutting and pasting to support a higher billing fee. Insurance companies like OHP have decreased payments to providers to control costs. Those “savings” go on to the owners and doctors of the local CCO that has been denying care for its’ patients in the form of “bonuses.” When a provider is paid less per visit, the only solution is to see more patients in a shorter amount of time. Instead of sit-down quality time, you get fast drive-thru care with providers. Money beats quality of care almost every time.


Please don’t torture and kill the chronic pain and disabled people of your state they have a right too protection by the constitution too make their own choice I’m sure because it has happened too all pain paitients their hippa rights have been violated I want you too think about if all your medical records went on a buliten board for unqualified people too see in the DEA CDC FDA Senitors and anyone in the government who wants too see your records our right too privacy is being violated all across America for the chronic pain and disabled I know that if you do this too the Oragen pain and disabled people it is a corner stone for what’s too come for all and a black mark in history for America too not protect the people who are the most vulnerable I know you think this will help the addiction problem but you will still be dealing with that getting even worse after the pain paitients are eliminated what group of people will it be next? If you put this in place and you still have the Heroine and Fentanyl problem? AND YOU WILL!!! maybe it would be more productive too actually go after the street users thenswlves the people who are truly the problem because until you do the problem will not go away of street abuse I know you do not think that you would be attached too murder and torture but you will God is crying tears upon it all please do the right thing and drop this discriminating bill that will help lead too distruction of American values do you not get the desperateness of the chronic pain and disabled too survive I personally think it would be kinder too line us all up in front of a firing squad and put us out of our misery then what this harmful bill will do too the pain and disabled people of Oragen and every where From trying to survive in Ohio DO THE RIGHT THING before it’s too late !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Katrina Bergman

As the suicide rate increases & the death from heroin& fentanyl killsthe blood is in your hands ( goverment, DEAif you cant tell the difference between people that really need it & people that just want a high then you are ignorant& just don’t care! This will bring the next terrorist.

When I was on Medicaid as a child in NYS the two dentist I had available to me they both drilled the teeth of Medicaid people without Novocain along with other procedures because unless we could pay for the pain relief we got none. My mother was not told of it until I came crying out of the appt. No one warned us about the policy. It was inhumane to the poor and the Drs I had did seem to enjoy doing it because we were poor. One dentist told me it would be good for my future to do it without Novocain. He was right I developed a horrible poverty fear and worked very hard until
I got sick, so now I could be back to suffering in pelvic pain and bladder pain.

And to make us fight even harder for pain management. The state of Nevada is allowing its first ever legal fentynl death. They are now using very high doses of pain medicine fentynl to kill the individuals on death row and that sends the signal to the CPP that a murder is worth more than your life is Bc he/she gets to die with more dignity than you are currently living with. The very medicine that was once yours is now going to someone on death row to protect their constitutional rights because the original lethal injection was being considered inhumane. The CPCommunities opinions on this madness is we are able to invoke civil rights and the constitution for a inmate on death row to die but those rules do not apply for people in chronic pain trying to live?!?! For every one person on pain management, I know 20 that have been thrown off of it Bc their dr is scared of the government. So the message to CPP by our government is Bc our current way of killing a muderer is not humane enough this is the humane way they came up with, but it’s too good for a CPP to live on with our regular doses of this medicine. Many CPP are forced to kill themselves in the most inhumane ways when they have their pain medicine tapered down or taken away. When a death row inmate gets more human rights than a CPP we are going in the wrong direction as a civilization. The death row person is winning his way of a fentynl way to die thru his civil rights and the constitution. My question to us all is when are we going to show up and sue the government for our rights Bc believe it or not we are arguing the same issues as the death row inmate. “What makes life inhumane?” For some reason our government will answer that question for a criminal and not for a Chronic Pain Patient.

Jessica Reible

The government needs to come to terms with the fact that the CDC’s “opioid epidemic” has skewed statistics regarding prescribed pain medication. There are millions of chronic pain patients that are responsible patients & are not “addicted” to pain medications. Addiction is a state of mind & a physical dependency. Chronic pain patients are physically dependent on prescription pain meds, much like a diabetic is dependent on insulin. If the government restricted/ended insulin for diabetes…diabetics would also have a physical reaction. The same is true with depression & anxiety medications. People are physically dependant on their prescribed medications. PERIOD! I doesn’t matter if it is prescribed opioids, insulin, anti-depressants or anxiety medications (just to name a few, there are many more examples…the list goes on and on) if you take individuals off the medication they need, they could die or have serious complications.

Chronic pain patients throughout the U.S. are now turning to suicide & street drugs to end their pain. What most people do not realize is that most chronic pain patients do not get “high” on long acting opioids. Pain patients are treated very poorly, looked down upon, considered weak, disscrimanated against and ABANDONED by our system! This does not help a chronic pain patient…this makes the present & future of chronic pain patients hopeless. The quality of life of these patients is very low because of the CDC guidelines & states like Oregon threatening insurance drug coverage for prescribed opioid medications to not be covered.