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.
Report by Cheryl Simpson, ORA Health Care Action Team
By all accounts the two Friedman presentations in La Grande were a success! Dr. Friedman is an engaging, informative and inspirational speaker. His presentation style is humorous and persuasive, his message convincing. Friedman passionately described, with moral outrage, the consequences of current US health care financing. Slide after slide graphically displayed how people in the US are systematically short changed in receiving the health care they need to live healthier, longer lives. At the same time, the US receives less care and pays a great deal more than other countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Mike Huntington, a Mad As Hell Doctor and David Young, a Mad As Hell Nurse shared real life stories illustrating the tragic situations experienced by a significant number of our neighbors in communities across the nation.
About 140 people attended the two presentations. Faith community leaders, faculty, students, health care providers and local small business owners were among those in the audience. More than a dozen student volunteers from Eastern Oregon University supported the event working with members of the Oregon Rural Action Health Care for All Action Team. HCAO "100 Campaign" activities were available before, during and after the presentations.
Someone was overheard saying this as they left... "I had a great time even though the subject is horrible. We need to do something about this!"
HCAO member organization and chapter delegates, individual members and other supporters of single payer health care in Oregon (and the US) will gather Saturday, June 14, in Portland, to celebrate victories, plan strategies and strengthen the movement to create universal health care in Oregon.
3rd Annual Health Care for All Oregon Membership Meeting
Saturday, June 14 10:30 to 4:00 pm (Registration starts at 10:00 am)
Portland 1st Unitarian Church, 1211 SW Main St in Portland
Lunch will be provided.Read More
Report by Lou Sinniger
I want to thank everyone for doing such a great job filling the Bijou last night. It was an uplifting experience and really exciting to see so many. And while some of us have seen The Health Care Movie, it was especially impressive on the big screen. We must thank the owners.
Everyone did their part and made it happen. Thank you Ruth for setting up the table with Patricia and Bob Thank you Charlie for doing a great emcee job. Thank you Mark Braun for the doctors' perspective.
With 84 paying customers plus the freebies, we had over 90 people and we took in a couple of hundred dollars for our chapter. Plus DUH received a substantial donation. They all are doing such a great job. I wish them continued success on their tour.
With this success and energy I know that we will fill the Very Little Theater for Gerald Friedman on May 14 at 7 p.m.
Keep on Truckin' Eugene!
Report by Wes Brain
Southern Oregonians were joined by State Representative Peter Buckley at the Grass Shack in Phoenix Monday evening for some great food, music and a vision for our evolving health care system that will include everyone. No one will be excluded when Oregon moves to a single payer health care system that will focus directing money to health care instead corporate profit. The current fragmented non-system driven by the bottom-line has turned into a national disgrace.
The concert was moved inside because of the cool and changing weather. The thirty five folks attending the concert heard Southern Oregon’s own Pete Herzog who opened the first set. Then headliner George Mann entertained the crowd with stories and song for the second set. The last song of the evening Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” had Herzog and Mann strumming guitars and leading the singalong with a tune we all know and love to sing.
Report from La Grande
by Bill Whitaker
What a great concert! More than 100 attended. Colton Haney was a wonderful MC. Steve Hines and Friends were spectacular. The chorus of their song "One in Spirit" captured perfectly the essence of the entire evening. "We are one in the spirit. We are one family. And though we come from every walk of life, We are one, you and me."
Their dedication and support was demonstrated again when they contributed back to our health care reform work the $183 collected to support them. Many, many thanks to Steve Hines and Friends!
George Mann met and exceeded expectations as he sang new songs and put old songs in their historical context. George demonstrated the vitality of movement building songs as new verses about health care were added to old favorites. Our thanks to all the musicians for sharing their energy and enthusiasm.Read More
George Mann, folksinger, union organizer and activist, begins his Oregon tour this week with his arrival from New York on Wednesday, April 16. With stops in La Grande, Bend, Phoenix, Florence, Eugene, Corvallis and Portland, Mann will have a busy week before he departs for home on April 28. Funds raised from his performances will go to benefit HCAO and its chapters. See the Current Events page/ for updates and details of his schedule here.