HCAO Capitol Rally Set for April 20, 2017

Hundreds of Oregonians will gather on the West Capitol steps in Salem at noon on Thursday, April 20, 2017, to focus attention on the Senate hearing that day on the RAND study on health care financing as well as a bill, SB 1046, to create improved and expanded Medicare for all in Oregon.  

Health Care for ALL Oregon supports a health care system that covers everyone living or working in Oregon with no co-pays and no deductibles. We will send a message to legislators that a better financing system can be designed. Legislators should invite stakeholders to join in a transparent public process to craft a bill to implement such a system.

Health care has become a huge (18%) and rapidly growing portion of our economy – it was less than 8% four decades ago. It is unaffordable for too many. Most Americans support moving towards publicly funded universal health care. Americans overwhelmingly opposed the recently abandoned “repeal and replace” proposal in Congress, which would have moved us backwards to less affordable care. A recent Gallup shows that nearly 60% of Americans believe that a single payer system is the best option for health care reform. Most wealthy capitalist countries and other advanced economies offer health care to its citizens as a public good, with a variety of more effective and more affordable systems than in the U.S.

Replacing the market-based U.S. system with Medicare for all has been proposed to the U.S. Congress since 2003, as H.R. 676—90 members of Congress now support this bill, including Oregon’s Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, and Peter DeFazio.  

In Oregon 5% still lack any health coverage. Most Oregonians are ill-served by the insurance they do have—with high premium payments, large deductibles, narrow doctor networks and drug formularies, and high out-of-pocket expenses.

The recent report for the Oregon Legislature by the RAND corporation found that a single-payer option makes the most sense for financing health care in Oregon. RAND researchers found that:

  • By using a single payer model, everyone in Oregon could be covered without spending any more than our current system, which leaves out more than 200,000 residents.
  • A well-designed single payer system could eliminate the financial barriers to health care.

The full 147-page RAND report is available here: goo.gl/XPGwlw

Senator Michael Dembrow, chair of the Senate Committee on Health Care in 2011 when the Oregon universal health care bill was first drafted, said that now is the time, and Oregon is the place to start. He said, “Now more than ever it's clear that we need to create an efficient and affordable Medicare for All program at the state level. The Healthcare for All Oregon program will do that, covering all Oregonians with high quality care for no more than is being spent today.”

HCAO expects to have several hundred supporters at the Rally, with buses and car pools from Portland, Corvallis, Eugene, and as far away as Ashland, LaGrande, and the Coast. 

Health Care for All Oregon is a coalition of more than 120 organizations supporting the HCAO mission: "To create a comprehensive, equitable, affordable, publicly funded, high quality, universal health care system serving everyone in Oregon and the United States."  Coalition members include businesses, advocacy organizations, unions, and political, religious and local community groups from around Oregon.  HCAO manages a mailing list of some 20,000 advocates across the state of Oregon. HCAO is a 501(c)(3) organization.

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