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Letter from Bandon

February 7, 2013

To:  Rep. Wayne Krieger, Oregon State House
cc:  Sen. Jeff Kruse, Oregon Oregon Senate
       Sen. Arnie Roblan, Oregon Senate
       The Honorable John Kitzhaber, Governor of Oregon
       Congressman Peter DeFazio, US House of Representatives
       Sen. Jeff Merkley, US Senate
       Sen. Ron Wyden, US Senate

Re:   Health Care for All

Dear Rep. Krieger:

At the opening of Oregon’s 2013 legislative session on Monday, members and supporters of Health Care for All-Oregon from across the state rallied on the Capitol steps to call for more co-sponsors of the Affordable Health Care for All Oregon Act re-introduced in this session by Rep. Michael Dembrow of Portland.  Among the 1,000 or more citizens at the rally were the 16 of us whose names appear below from our small town of Bandon.  We are writing to you now because most of us were unable to stay on after the rally to meet with you and plead our cause in person.

That cause is the mission of the Health Care for All Oregon movement:  “to provide a comprehensive, equitable, publicly funded, high quality, universal health care system serving everyone in Oregon.”  The United States as a whole urgently needs such a system, but, unfortunately, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“ObamaCare”) fails to provide that fully, and does little to restrain our exorbitant and ever rising medical costs.  Where the federal government has let us down, we must depend on you and fellow legislators along with the governor to act in the best of faith for the people of this state.   We need you to pass legislation that ensures access to effective, patient-centered health care that will improve the overall health of Oregonians and make health care affordable for individuals, families, businesses, and society.

Without that, it is predicted that upwards of 400 Oregonians will die this year as in years past because of their inability to afford needed health care.  In addition, many more families will lose their homes due to unexpected medical emergencies and expenses that make it impossible to keep up with mortgage payments.  The consequent disruption of family life will cause young people to forfeit plans for higher education and dreams of a better life in order to help support ailing parents.  Along with many other social problems, young children and elderly relatives who lived at home may suddenly become new burdens on their communities and the state because of the loss of family income.

Mr. Krieger, unless the State of Oregon takes effective action to prevent it, you know that many of these needless deaths and other catastrophic consequences of our inadequate health care system will devastate families and communities right here in our First District, as they have year after year in the past.  Can we count on you as our elected representative to act now to exert your best effort to bring about an end to these tragic outcomes that have gone on for far too long for so many Oregonians?

The undersigned Bandon residents call upon you to give the Affordable Health Care for All Oregon Act your full support and join with Rep. Dembrow and the other nineteen co-sponsors of the bill so that all Oregonians can count on quality health care when needed without fear of losing their homes or causing their families to plunge into financial ruin.

We hope to hear your response and learn your plans to act on this urgent issue.

MC Ball                                                  
Maud Capps
Barbara Dodrill              
Marjorie Feldman       
Carol Fischer
Robert Fischer
Carol Fugere              
Tom Fugere
Dulce Havill           
Marilyn Havill      
Dr. Gail  McClave
Linda Olsen
Ed Pool
Francis Quinn      
Joy Tiffany  
Terence Tiffany                                              

P.S.  There is strong support for universal health care in this community beyond the 16 names above.  When the “Mad as Hell Doctors” came here on their tour around the state to advocate for this over a year ago more than 80 persons came to the event in response to only a small ad in our local paper.  The meeting room was full, with people crowded and standing on both side aisles and in back.  As you likely know from your own appearances here, that is a significant turnout for a town of this size.