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Health Care for All Oregon is a grassroots coalition of over 100 organizations that are determined to create a better way of financing health care for every person who lives or works in Oregon.  Our mission is to provide publicly funded, privately delivered, high quality, affordable, universal health care to everyone. People will be free to choose their medical provider to give them the care that they need, free to choose their career, job, and time of retirement independent of health care costs.  We believe that health care is a human right.  The care we receive should not be dependent on what we can afford.  It is time we joined the rest of the free world and provided ourselves with publicly funded health care just like we do for education, libraries, fire fighters, and police.

Being uninsured in America will cost you more

Timing will be critical for uninsured people who want to avoid the rising penalties for 2015 , because Feb. 15 is the last day of open enrollment under the health law. After that, only people with special circumstances can sign up. But just 5 percent of uninsured people know the correct deadline, according to the Kaiser poll.

Ryan Moon of Des Moines expects to pay a $95 fine when he files his taxes because he had no health insurance in 2014.  

Ryan Moon of Des Moines expects to pay a $95 fine when he files his taxes because he had no health insurance in 2014.

Associated Press, Dec 29, 2014

WASHINGTON — Being uninsured in America will cost you more in 2015.

It’s the first year all taxpayers have to report to the Internal Revenue Service whether they had health insurance for the previous year, as required under President Obama’s law. Those who were uninsured face fines, unless they qualify for one of about 30 exemptions, most of which involve financial hardships.

Dayna Dayson of Phoenix estimates that she will have to pay the taxman $290 when she files her federal return. Dayson, who is in her early 30s, works in marketing and does not have a lot left over each month after housing, transportation, and other fixed costs. She would like health insurance but she could not afford it in 2014, as required by the law.

‘‘It’s touted as this amazing thing, but right now, for me, it doesn’t fit into my budget,’’ she said.


HCAO has Lunch with Louden

Mike Huntington, Cheryl Simpson and Lee Mercer recorded an internet streaming program with the Coffee Party, a program called Lunch With Louden, hosted by Jeanene Louden. 

Here is a link to today's internet interview.  It has a few technical glitches but gets quite a bit of information out there about the HCAO Rally and the movement.

This show will be streaming nationally, available to the 550,000 folks on the Coffee Party list. When Jeanene played our Rally PSA on their Facebook page she said it got 3,000 hits!

See you at the Rally!

Register Here for Feb 11 HCAO Rally on Capitol Steps in Salem

Bitter Pill: A Critical Review

by Tim Roach, Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates, Corvallis

Steven Brill's been making the rounds with media of late, plugging his newest book, America's Bitter Pill--Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System. His recounting of the making of the sausage that is the Affordable Care Act is both interesting and informative, as is his enumeration of its flaws and shortcomings. He is spot on when he focuses on the costs of health care that continue to spiral higher and higher and its related profiteering. I appreciate his reporting of such matters. We are agreed, our nation needs to move beyond Obamacare!

However, when Brill transitions to his final chapter and attempts to speak prescriptively about what we might do to make the best of -- or even "fix" -- our "old jalopy" of a healthcare system, in my opinion, his wisdom fades. For starters, he views America's health insurers as victims of our nation's dysfunctional health care system, rather than major actors/enablers of that system. Furthermore, his basic prescription leans heavily upon a provider-insurer model (with the leadership of such oligopolies restricted to physicians) with government regulation.

As Brill himself describes his script--"Let the foxes run the henhouse -- with conditions." I, for one, see danger and warning signs all over such a scenario. It seems to me that, for some reason, Brill longs to mirror in our health care system many of the same elements that led to the recent fiasco with the nation's banking industry.

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Herb Rothschild Jr.: Support single-payer

Posted Jan. 24, 2015 
Ashland Daily Tidings, Opinion

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and of the enactment of Medicare. Not long ago, a U.S. Supreme Court dominated by Republican appointees gutted the Voting Rights Act, and a Democratic president who never could have been elected without it took Medicare for Everyone off the table when he proposed his much ballyhooed health reform.

The American Medical Association tried to defeat Medicare. It cleverly labeled all such proposals “socialized medicine.” Medicare isn’t socialized medicine. The VA health care system is socialized medicine. Its hospitals are publicly owned, and VA staff are salaried employees paid with tax dollars. Medicare is only an insurance program.

So Medicare didn’t threaten the livelihood of physicians. Instead, it added huge numbers of paying clients to their patient base. The AMA had identified the wrong threat. The real threat emerged in the 1980s. It was the private insurance industry, not public insurance, that drastically interfered with the practice of medicine.

Private insurance plans forced most physicians to join groups like health maintenance organizations, hospital systems, and other large groupings — some of them corporations interested in profits, not health care. Often physicians couldn’t treat their patients without approval for payment from the patients’ insurance carriers, whose on-staff medical personnel could second-guess the attending physician. In more subtle but ever-present ways, the imposition of a corporate model has distorted the practice of medicine and diminished the satisfaction of practitioners.


    Smith Warner Promotes Public Funding for Healthcare Study

    A private study of the best way to provide universal healthcare in Oregon has foundered for lack of funds. The study was sanctioned in 2013 to rely on private funding; with little materializing, legislators such as Sen. Michael Dembrow and Rep. Barbara Smith Warner are asking for an extended deadline and public funding.

    by Chris Gray for The Lund Report
    January 22, 2015

    Two years ago, the Legislature authorized an examination of universal healthcare, but asked the private sector to pick up the tab. That effort foundered when donors - and dollars - failed to materialize.

    This year, legislators who want to know the best way to expand healthcare access to everyone in Oregon may be ready to fund a study that would examine the options, Rep. Barbara Smith Warner, D-Portland, told the Portland City Club on Monday night.  

    “We got it through last time without funding,” Smith Warner said. “We’re going to attempt to get some public financial assistance.”

    In addition to providing a relatively small amount of public funding, House Bill 2828 will extend the deadline to raise funds and complete the work, since the original legislation called for the mothballed study to be finished this past November.

    Dr. Sam Metz, who led efforts to raise private funds to pay for the study, told The Lund Report that the desired level of state funding had not been worked out, but proponents were shooting for about $100,000, which is roughly half what the study would cost. If the state doesn’t pay the full amount, Metz said he believed Oregon’s down payment could spur private donations this time.