October HCAO News Update:
Single Payer Oregon 2020!
BETTER CARE, TO MORE PEOPLE, FOR LESS MONEY
HCAO has Many Partners
In the Fight for Better Care-
To More People-For Less Money
At the Celebration to Honor Mitch Greenlick, 200 people, including many new faces showed up to generously support HCAO as Representative Greenlick again called for an Oregon constitutional amendment to say that health care is a human right. That same evening, Dr. Sam Metz inspired those in attendance as he emphasized that the only known path to "BETTER CARE, TO MORE PEOPLE, FOR LESS MONEY" is Single Payer.
However, there is much more to tell: Democratic Socialists of America and local Democratic parties are out canvassing to deliver the message and gain supporters for Health Care for All-Oregon; Indivisible Groups are organizing meetings to highlight Single Payer; Grass Roots Impact is hosting discussion events; and Independents for Progressive Action has partnered with HCAO in a showing of Now is the Time. HCAO is being called upon and responding to the call by union workers to partner with them in the struggle for health care benefits and to deliver the message that in order to bring BETTER CARE-TO MORE PEOPLE-FOR LESS MONEY, we need Single Payer.
HCAO's 2017 Fall Statewide Meeting was Productive
Ninety-five Health Care for ALL-Oregon member organization representatives and activists came together in Portland on Saturday, October 21 for HCAO's 2017 Fall Statewide Meeting.
The meeting, “Organizing our Movement,” offered an opportunity for attendees to engage in workshops, building upon our organization's strategies for a 2020 vision of an HCAO ballot victory.
Highlights included: an impassioned keynote address by Rachel Prusak (Nurses for Single Payer Vice-President), celebration of building HCAO support within the Episcopal Church, honoring rapid response organizing across Oregon, and HCAO mobilization in new areas such as Tillamook and Bend. In addition to inspiring speeches, group workshops discussed organizational strategies to establish a path to win Single Payer at the ballot.
Las Vegas Event Marks Sea Change
in the Single Payer Movement
Report from Lee Mercer:
Las Vegas, NV, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2017
For complete information on the national Single Payer Leadership Meeting, go to the conference Wiki HERE.
Despite the horrific events in Las Vegas the first weekend in October, another, less publicized event, occurred among casinos in the Fremont Street district, which marked progress in the movement towards universal, publicly funded health care.
In introducing the national Single Payer Leadership Meeting: Organizing After the Resistance, Benjamin Day, director of Healthcare-Now, noted that the movement is in a major “sea change.” Due to the galvanizing of thousands of Americans in the resistance to repeated attempts by Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, an energized and mobilized health care movement has grown exponentially in states throughout the country.
Building Chapters Is the Key
To Winning Single Payer in 2020
Tom Sincic, retired nurse and current President of Health Care for All Oregon, told me the other day that he feels expanding our network of statewide HCAO chapters is the key to winning a ballot measure in 2020. Or words to that effect.
I have to agree with Tom that, besides growing our database from our current nearly 24,000 supporters, to 80,000, and our current list of member organizations, from 122 to 250, expanding our statewide presence by establishing chapters throughout Oregon, is a key to winning in 2020. It is these chapters, and these supporters and organizations, which will help build our “field strength” when we need to start collecting ballot signatures and/or extensive canvassing in support of our universal health care measure.
At the October 21 statewide meeting, Committee member and web team leader Chris Heydemann presented an outline of the planned revision of the HCAO website, to create one that is designed to inform and motivate using a clear and easily navigable architecture. The website will feature simple messages and calls to immediate and long-term action.
During the two afternoon break-out sessions, Chris and Communications committee chair Sandi Bean fielded questions, gathered reactions to Chris's earlier presentation, recruited web content writers and editors, and facilitated enthusiastic discussions among the dozen participants in each session.
It is always appropriate to ask your legislators what they are doing to move towards better health care for more people at lower cost. In particular, what are they doing to meet the vitally important legislative intent codified in Oregon Revised Statute 414.018? “It is the intention of the Legislative Assembly to achieve the goals of universal access to an adequate level of high quality health care at an affordable cost."
Note how close this legislative intent is to HCAO’s mission. If there are any bills about which you are aware that help achieve the legislative intent, our mission, or just provide better health care to more people at lower costs, let your legislators know.
Bills and Measures of interest to HCAO-Action in the 2018 session
The Case for Ballot Measure 101
by Mike Huntington, M.D.
Access to health care for 350,000 Oregonians, 1 in 12 of us, is in jeopardy. Oregon Ballot Measure 101 needs your “yes” vote next January to preserve health care for these Oregonians. Maybe one is your friend or neighbor.
Some background: The 2017 Oregon legislature passed the Oregon Health Care Protections Bill (HB 2391) to preserve funding for Medicaid. The bill requires an assessment on hospitals. It had the blessing of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, the Oregon Medical Association, Providence Health and Services, Kaiser Permanente, and Moda Health. These organizations agreed knowing that Oregon must first raise its portion of Medicaid funding to qualify for much larger matching federal Medicaid funds. They know that the money will filter back to the hospitals as payments for services to Medicaid patients. Without these funds people in the Medicaid expansion group will either go without care or their medical costs will increase the hospital’s overall costs which in turn will increase everyone’s hospital bills.
Membership Committee Update
The Committee members have been in the process of contacting all member organizations to send their delegates to the October 21 Membership meeting in Portland. We have successfully tabled at over 12 conventions over the summer, and have brought in five new organizations over the year so far. The committee will next establish goals, budget, and timelines for the coming year, based on the refined Operations Plan.
Gary Sinnen has volunteered to coordinate and maintain the database of organizations for the committee. This is a big job and so important as we grow our list of Member Organizations.
The committee is also looking into developing and maintaining the Individual Membership program. We need a couple of people who can work with the database and report to the committee.
Lou Sinniger 541-954-2356
HCAO Rapid Response Rally Protests ACA Cuts
Debbie Schwartz, Sally Sincic and Lisa Stiller
Photo by David Young
About 10 people gathered in the courtyard of Sen. Wyden's and Rep. Blumenauer's offices late
Friday afternoon (10-13) to protest President Trump's executive order cutting subsidies and co-pays for people receiving help in paying for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act Marketplace exchanges. Over 200,000 Oregonians could be effected.
Health care can't keep responding to crisis after crisis...with emergency plugs in place that don't address the real problems. More reason to stabilize the system with Medicare for All.
House parties about health care
in other developed countries
HCAO is sponsoring house parties showing the PBS documentary about health care in other developed countries, Sick Around the World: Other Rich Countries Have Universal Health Care; Why Don’t We? In the film, T.R. Reid (Washington Post journalist and ColoradoCare activist) examines first-hand how other advanced capitalist democracies--United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Switzerland--deliver health care, and what the United States might learn from their successes and their failures.
After showing the one-hour DVD, an HCAO volunteer will facilitate a discussion about Health Care for All-Oregon and Improved Medicare For All.
What groups—particularly Democratic or left-leaning groups—are working to undermine Single payer legislation? What are our most effective tactics (as opposed to messaging) for pre-empting these forms of opposition?
National Nurses United's Michael Lighty speaks out at the Single Payer Leadership conference in Las Vegas.
Watch video HERE.
Another Tragic Health Care Story
Amy Vilela shares her story and her work for single payer since her daughter's death as one of the keynote speakers at the recent Single Payer Leadership Conference in Las Vegas.
Watch the video HERE.