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.
by Lee Mercer, President, HCAO
Over 100 HCAO activists from all over Oregon braved ice, sleet and snow to attend the Saturday, Nov. 15 statewide strategy meeting. Like the 100 settlers in 1843 who voted to become a territory of the U.S. (and if they had voted otherwise we would be part of Canada and have universal health care now!), we were charting a brave new future for Oregon. Reviewing our strategic plan to achieve single payer health care, we discussed various policy options to support the HCAO mission. The day also featured breakouts for training in intensive lobbying and use of talking points.
A highlight of the day was a tag team presentation by Representative Barbara Smith Warner (District 45) and veteran AFSCME lobbyist Mary Botkin. They did an overview of the political environment in Oregon (current make-up of the legislature looks good for our issue) and provided much wisdom on doing respectful and effective lobbying in the Capitol. Instead of making lots of noise in the rotunda, they advised talking to all legislators (not just those who agree with us), learning what each legislator cares about, and making sure we communicate and meet with the legislators’ staff members, as informing them on our issue is almost as important as informing the legislators. Legislative Assistants have their own staff network in the Capitol, and our issue can move forward there, as well.
Besides remaining committed to legislation for a ballot measure to achieve the “Health Care for Oregon Plan” to create a publicly funded health care system and an extension and funding for HB 3260 (the health care study bill), we outlined other policy options HCAO is considering. Strong support was indicated among attendees for secession from the U.S. to create the Republic of Cascadia (with Washington and British Columbia), with health care as a human right enshrined in its constitution. This was a fully tongue-in-cheek proposal by President Lee Mercer.Read More
Report by Mike Huntington
Yesterday two HCAO events occurred in Ashland. At the Jefferson Center we had a three-hour session on how to recruit and prepare others to tell their own stories about healthcare, speak persuasively on behalf of universal healthcare, and to lobby legislators regarding bills that HCAO supports. The session was attended by 19 advocates from Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass, Corvallis, Silverton and Portland and was led by West Brain, Jason Houk, Allen Hallmark, Tim Roach, Larry Stewart, Lisa Stiller, Mike Huntington, Lee Mercer, and Gene Uphoff.
The main theme was that we need to know who we are and why we are passionately advocating for single-payer health care reform. We need to know our own story well and tell it well. We need to be able to do that in one minute and include in that minute how our HCAO bills will relieve the problems we and others have faced in our healthcare system. much of the three-hour session with devoted to rehearsing what we would say to others including legislators and gently critiquing each other.
Later in the afternoon and early evening at a separate venue The Healthcare Movie was shown to about 60 people followed by a panel discussion involving the leaders mentioned above. Attendees of both sessions were urged to prepare themselves and others to spread the word and to come to the Capitol in Salem on February 11 for the rally and to talk with their legislators.
The Jefferson Center is pleased to present an informational program including a free showing of the documentary
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2014
PIONEER HALL, 73 WINBURN WAY, ASHLAND (Lithia Park)
We, in the United States, pay more for healthcare than comparably developed nations and yet often have worse health outcomes. Other countries have very different systems of paying for health care. We have options for change.
After the Movie
The film will be followed by an opportunity to explore questions about the challenges of our present healthcare system and what an expanded Medicare for all might be like. This discussion will be led by a panel from HCAO (Healthcare for All Oregon) including Wes Brain of Ashland, Mike Huntington M.D. and Tim Roach from Corvallis, and Lee Mercer from Silverton.
The Community Action Committee of The Jefferson Center, Ashland OR.
More information at thejeffcenter.org
Friday, September 26 @ 7 PM
St. David of Wales Church
2800 SE Harrison Street
A Benefit Concert for Health Care for All Oregon (HCAO)
by Mike Huntington, MD
Chris Lowe, Carol, and I manned the Health Care for All-Oregon booth at the Oregon State Fair last night. We averaged one conversation about every 15 minutes. About one-third were in favor of HCAO, one-third against, and one-third curious but undecided. In addition, a number of kids wanted to spin the wheel in hopes of a prize. Sometimes it was a sticker and sometimes a hand-held AFSCME fan.
One articulate older gentleman with a sun-weathered face asked us how we defined a right. He said, “If one person claims a right, doesn't that mean someone else has to give up their freedom or property to honor the first person's ‘right’”? The man was willing to listen to Chris' accounting of how the preface paragraph of the Constitution allows for promoting the general welfare of the people, and that several times we have passed amendments to honor what the people felt were rights not originally articulated in the Constitution. The man was more willing to define health care as a need, and that it might be in each person’s best interest to make sure everyone has health care. My favorite approach is that of Gene Uphoff, who says something like "My personal feeling is that health care is a human right, but not everyone agrees with that point of view. From purely an economic sense, here's the reason why everyone should be allowed health care under a universal single-payer plan...."Read More
by Don McCanne, Quote of the Day
For PMHP, August 25, 2014
This weekend numerous organizations dedicated to single payer reform assembled in Oakland, California for the 2014 National Strategy Conference. Participating organizations included Healthcare NOW!, Labor Campaign for Single-Payer Healthcare, One Payer States, National Nurses United, Physicians for a National Health Program, Progressive Democrats of America, and many others. So what was accomplished?
Above all, just gathering dedicated single payer supporters together in a single weekend meeting provided renewed energy and passion amongst the attendees, confirming that the single payer movement is not only still alive, it is thriving. We have a future.
The most important movie you'll ever see about health care in the US.
You've been sick...you bought the insurance...you've lost your doc...
Now Come See the Movie....
This 65-minute film documents the real story of how the health care systems in Canada and the United States evolved to be so completely different, when at one point they were essentially the same.
Produced by Canadian/American couple Laurie Simons and Terry Sterrenberg, The Healthcare Movie reveals the personal and emotional impact on Canadians who now have access to universal health care because of the heroism of people who took a stand nearly 50 years ago. It also reveals the continuing struggle in the United States between the fear of government intervention and the right to quality health care for all people.
Free showing Saturday, May 31, 4 p.m., at the Siuslaw Public Library in Florence. Representatives from Health Care for All-Oregon (HCAO) will be there to answer questions, along with Dr. John Egar, the primary care physician recently dismissed from Peace Health in Florence for speaking out about health care issues.
Sponsored by the Florence Chapter of HCAO. Listen to the film makers HERE
--Rand Dawson, HCAO Florence
Two years ago three representatives from the Vermont Workers Center came to Oregon and appeared around the state. They had a crowd of 300 people at PCC Cascade and a groundswell of enthusiasm was generated for health care reform activism. The Health Care Committee of Jobs with Justice grew to hosting 40 attendees at ...monthly meetings. Many of them participated in the establishment of Health Care for All Oregon which is now a statewide organization with chapters in several towns across the state and recently hosted the tour by Gerald Friedman. It has over 90 member organizations and we are growing in strength. But we have a long way to realize our dream of doing what Vermont did.
James Haslam, Executive Director of the Vermont Workers Center, will be in Portland on Friday, June 6 to cheer us on with some advice and inspiration. Sen. Michael Dembrow will join Haslam on the podium at the SEIU 503 ballroom. 6401 SE Foster in Portland, Hassam will appear at 7 p.m., but please come early, by 6 p.m., to have a preliminary discussion on how to frame our questions and make the best of his appearance.
As has already been reported, the La Grande presentations were well-organized by Cheryl Simpson, Bill Whitaker and crew, and well-attended. Home stay was with Charlie Jones and Emelie McNett.
After a successful event in La Grande, Mike, David Young, and Gerald Friedman savored a clear sunny scenic trip along the Columbia Gorge, through Portland, and on to Eugene.
In Eugene we met with HCAO advocates Lee Mercer, Lou Sinniger, Mark Brauner, and Charlie Swanson for a round table discussion and then with Reps. Holvey, Barnhart, Lively and Sen. Prozanski. All were supportive of the concept of single payer but expecting the legislation to require several presentations to the Oregon Legislature and exposure to critical assessment and refinement before expecting success at the ballot. Dr. Friedman's dynamic and entertaining presentation in Eugene was attended by 90 people and well-received. Home stays were with Marc Shapiro, Patty Hine, Deb McGee, and Mark Brauner.
Yesterday we met with Wes Brain, Mark Kellenbeck and crew at the KOBI TV station for an interview of GF and subsequent round table at a local pub in Medford. We then migrated to Ashland for a brief Frisbee break at Lithia Park and then another pub meeting with local businessmen, a newsman, and local activists. The main presentation was 7-9 pm at a Southern Oregon University Medford campus. (see Wes' report, below.) Host home was that of Mark and Kathleen Kellenbeck in Phoenix, OR.
We’re on our way to Corvallis! See you soon.
This report was by phone, as Wes' computer has suffered an untimely crash. Wes reports this morning that Dr. Friedman's presentation at the SOU/RCC Higher Education Center was attended by 80 people, 30 of whom were business students at the RCC campus, and 25 of whom were new to our campaign. Wes says Dr. Friedman's factual yet entertaining style is raising the level of enthusiasm about our Oregon campaign for universal health care.
Dr. Friedman was interviewed earlier by KOBI TV "Five on Five," archived HERE.
Report by Betty Johnson
Dr. Friedman's evening presentation in Corvallis, “Can We Afford Health Care for ALL?” Will be filmed by Maegan Prentice, who is also currently trying to arrange to record the noon event: “Comparison of International Health Systems with the U.S. “
The films will be available on YouTube soon, where any person or group can view them and embed them on their website.