Report by Bobbi Hall, Chair, Mid Valley Health Care Advocates, Corvallis
T.R. Reid, author of The Healing of America, made a whirlwind tour of Oregon over the last weekend in July, making numerous appearances before packed public audiences such as the 250-plus crowd in Takena Hall at Linn-Benton Community College the evening of July 25. The venue worked well and will be the site Sept. 19 of the play Mercy Killers. Reid, in addition to public talks also met with smaller groups of health care reform leaders, such as members of Physicians for a National Health Program in Portland and the board of Health Care for All-Oregon in Corvallis. On the 25th, Mike Huntington, Bruce Thompson, Sandi Bean and Bobbi Hall brought Reid from Portland to Salem for a noon talk in front of a large crowd at the Salem City Club, then to Corvallis to meet with the HCAO board, and then to LBCC to give a talk, followed by personal conversations with attendees at LBCC.
The talk in Salem compared what the Affordable Care Act has done to advance health care with what needs to be done to extend care to everyone and also outlined what the Colorado plan will offer. To see a video of it, go to the City Club’s website. Audio podcasts of the other Oregon talks by T.R. Reid will be posted on the Mid-Valley website, and an interview with T.R. Reid by Bobbi Hall will be aired Monday August 10 at 11:30 a.m. on KBOO, 90.7 in the Portland area, 104.3 in the Corvallis area and 91.9 in Hood River, and will also be posted as a podcast on the Mid-Valley website..
T.R. Reid had questions for the HCAO Board, and the Board had questions for him. As Reid chairs the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care, which is preparing an initiative petition to advance universal health care coverage, and the HCAO Board is considering its next move, both organizations learned from each other’s experiences. Reid gave his Oregon colleagues much to think about. We in the mid-valley owe much to several of our members for making large donations that brought our speaker and paid for theater rental at LBCC. Clearly, this event showed that we need more donations as well as more volunteers if we are to meet our goals, and we all can add something.