PNHP's Don McCanne Comments on the RAND Study of How to Cover All Oregonians

By Don McCanne, M.D.

This study can be very helpful to those who are considering comprehensive health care reform on a state level. RAND has shown that a single payer system would cover everyone without increasing total health care spending; private health insurance for the nonelderly plus Medicare for seniors and the disabled would cover everyone but would increase total spending; and providing a state-run health plan (public option) would have only a negligible impact on coverage and spending.
Full article here.

Corvallis Inaugurate Social Justice March

On January 20, MVHCA joined many other groups from Oregon State University and Corvallis to demonstrate for social justice. As many as 1,000 people (many of them OSU students) marched from campus to the riverfront park. The highlight for MVHCA was at the end of the march when the entire crowd chanted "Everybody In, Nobody Out!" over and over.

Thank you Dick Behan for being our photographer at the march.

March and Rally for Social Justice on Inauguration Day

Don't sit home and worry this Friday, come out and demonstrate with us.

March and Rally on Friday Jan. 20, 2017
Health Care supporters will join other community members who support social justice and a clean environment in a march and rally beginning at 3:00 p.m. FRIDAY the 20th. We will meet at 3:00-3:10 at 11th and Monroe, organize our banner and sign carriers, and then join others for a rally at Central Park at 3:30. About 4:30, we will be at the Odd Fellows Lodge on 2nd Street, next to Grass Roots and New Morning Bakery, and enjoy warm drinks and conversation


Rally for Health Care - Sunday, January 15, 2 PM Benton County Courthouse

The January 15 health care rally at the Benton County Courthouse was a great success! Thank you to all who attended. Photos by Mike Huntington below.

Mid Valley Healthcare Advocates invites you to join a rally on to 2 p.m. Facebook event details here.
Last week members of Congress introduced a bill that if passed will strip away health care for 30 million Americans - over 80 percent of whom are working families.

People already suffering will suffer more if Congress proceeds as planned.  They are our neighbors, our parents and children, our coworkers, our own community.

Before Congress destroys the health care of millions of people they need to show us a plan that helps ALL Americans – not one that pushes more costs onto families, strips health care from them, and rolls back important patient protections.

Come rally with us!  We will have signs, t-shirts, andhospital gowns for you to carry or wear.

Inaugurate Social and Eco Justice Demonstration - Friday, January 20


On Friday, Jan. 20, Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates, along with many other groups working toward social justice, will be part of a march and short rally that is billed as a Community Organizing event. It will begin on the OSU campus around 3:00 at the Student Experience Center Plaza, under the big translucent canopy, just east of the Memorial Union on campus (Jefferson street).  The parade will proceed toward and along Monroe, weaving around town, and stopping briefly at Central Park. As dusk approaches, all will be welcomed at the Odd Fellows Hall on 2nd Street for hot cider, conversation, and networking. Titled “Inaugurate Social and Eco Justice,” the event's goal is to showcase issues that our community cares about and will be working on in 2017.

MVHCA members will meet on Monroe at 11th Street at 3:10 to distribute “Health Care For All Oregon” and “Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates” banners and gown-plus-bun costumes so we will be ready to join the procession. Please meet us there as we move into a season of activism! E-mail Bobbi if you have questions,

"Blue States" and Health Policy

            Maryland’s former governor (also 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate) Martin O’Malley joined Oregon’s former Governor John Kitzhaber in a discussion of how their two states’ experiences can inform efforts to provide better health care to more people for less money. The discussion took place on Friday, January 6, before an overflowing crowd at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland.  Introduced by Dr. Sam Metz, the two governors applauded the movement in Oregon toward universal health care, for which Dr. Metz is a key advocate, through his leadership in Physicians for a National Health Program-Oregon.

           The governors agreed that we solve nothing by continuing to divide ourselves into “red” and “blue” states. 

            Oregon uses Coordinated Care Organizations to provide Medicaid, and Maryland, an all-payer hospital system. Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley, the state of Maryland realized unprecedented cost savings through its “all-payer model,” described here and, more recently, here.

            The system in Maryland rewards hospitals for patient wellness, and reimburses hospitals based on positive outcomes rather than illness, turning the old market model on its head. The market model rewards hospitals for illness, because every bed full equals profit—like in a hotel. The Maryland model turned this around, instead incentivizing hospitals for empty beds and closed wards.

Through its unique rate-setting process, the 46 acute care hospitals across Maryland saw patient volume decline and income increase, through redeploying resources to improve patient wellness. In the all-payer model’s first year, according to O’Malley, actual savings to Medicare alone totaled $165 million.

            The all-payer system works because it incentivizes wellness and is data-driven through the state’s innovative health information exchange, known as CRISP (Chesapeake Regional Information System for Patients). In addition, CRISP benefits public health. Through data shared across the state, Maryland can now map disease “hotspots” that enhance rapid, targeted, cost-effective responses to public health issues, like potential epidemics.  

            Speaking of the Affordable Care Act, Governor Kitzhaber reminded the audience that even before the ACA, insurance premiums in Oregon were increasing by double digit percentages. Yet, keeping what is good about the ACA is important; in Oregon alone, nearly 400,000 more Oregonians now have health insurance than before the ACA. What must happen now is a drastic reduction in health care costs—something that the ACA never addressed, and that the Maryland model does.

            Looking toward the future, both leaders called for bipartisan cooperation to accomplish the needed health care cost reductions. We must move beyond opposition for the sake of opposition toward actions that are based on the principle of upholding the dignity of every person.