Single payer universal health care in Oregon

Lobbying in Salem, Oregon for Universal Health Care

Photo: Lobbying in Salem, Oregon for Universal Health Care

Peace House is a member of Health Care for All Oregon, and is active on the steering committee of the Rogue Valley affiliate. The goal is to get the Oregon legislature to adopt a “Medicare for all” system of health care insurance, and to pass by referendum a plan to fund it. The goal is to have the proposition before the voters in 2016.

HCAO – Health Care for All Oregon

Sandra Coyner, Peace House Board member


SandraCoynerHCAOmeetingSandra Coyner
HCAO is becoming a “lean, mean, well-funded winning machine” by focusing efforts on a massive statewide educational effort.
Peace House is a member of this statewide coalition which seeks universal, high-quality, comprehensive, affordable health care through a publicly funded system. Our representatives were present at the statewide meeting in Portland on May 21, where members
  • Met new HCAO staff, including Executive Director Robert Lee
  • Approved changes to properly organize both a 501(c)3 and a 502(c)4 to conduct both educational and political campaigns
  • Heard reports from chapters and committees on activities statewide to fulfill the HCAO strategic plan
  • Elected officers and state board members, including Sandra Coyner of Peace House, representing our region on the HCAO Board.
  • Participated in small-group work on diversity and on strategizing.

A new documentary film about universal health care “FIX IT-Healthcare at the Tipping Point”, by Richard Master, was shown in April at the Independent Media Conference and in Medford to a group including supporters and businesses. The film emphasizes how a reformed system could fix many problems businesses face in providing health care for their employees. The film is available locally for house parties and other showings.

HCAO-Rogue Valley chapter meetings are held on the first Sunday of the month at 5 pm in the OEA building in Medford. Go to the website and attend if you can!

The HCAO legislative strategic plan is moving along. In 2015 HCAO secured funding from the legislature for a professional, authorized study of the best way Oregon can provide universal access to comprehensive care that is affordable for individuals, families, businesses and society. In May, the contract for the study was awarded to the Rand Corporation. Results will be given to the legislature by 2017. Although the study must examine four different ways of financing health care, previous studies have pointed to single-payer (Canadian system, or “Medicare for All”) is the best way to reduce costs and maximize quality. The HCAO strategic plan calls for a new health care plan to be enacted in Oregon no later than 2020, whether by the legislature or a ballot initiative.

Meanwhile, back in Ashland, HCAO supporters have asked the Ashland City Council to refer a measure to the voters in November that will give an opportunity for Ashlanders to record their support for improvements in the healthcare system in Oregon.  This vote will come in time to reach members of the 2017 legislature when they consider how to respond to the study they commissioned (described in the preceding paragraph).

Go to the website for HCAO or for HCAO-RV for more information. Health Care is a Human Right. Everybody in, Nobody out. Removing medical bankruptcy from the roster of ways Americans pay for health care will be a significant advance in economic justice.