CONTEST – to complete the sentence: “I favor a universal publicly funded health care system in Oregon because...” in 25 words or less.
MVHCA began the contest on March 10 at the Corvallis Sustainability Fair and received 26 answers. As agreed, three judges from the MVHCA board independently evaluated these answers (all excellent, it is fair to say) on the basis of clarity and appeal to a general audience. The judges were “blind”; they had not taken part in the contest, nor did they know who wrote which answers, because the answer sheet they were given had only a number identifying contestants. Bobbi took their ratings (1, 2, and 3) and computed the winners, giving 3 points for a first place nomination, 2 for a second, and 1 for a third—plus an honorable mention going to all contestants named by any judge.
As eight answers received nominations, and there were ties for all the places, it is clear that no single answer stood out. As you read them below, you can see they all met the criteria. SO: thanks to all who took part – thanks for participating AND for helping MVHCA think about how we can phrase our arguments for universal health care.
First place winners earned a red-healthcare tee-shirt: Paul Harcombe and Bill Hayden; second place and third place winners receive three specialty-healthcare bookmarks and 2 buttons so they can share an item with friends (these winners are Owen Dell, Courtland Smith, Max Jones, and Jim Noel); and honorable mention goes to Maxine Eckes and Delbert McComb, who each receive one bookmark and one button. I was concerned to see mainly male contestants were winners and checked and sure enough, the preponderance of contestants had masculine names - so, good on you men for sharing your ideas!
All the answers are listed below. We suggest reading them to see which YOU like best before going to the bottom of the list and finding out which two answers tied for first place.
1. Health care is a human right and should not depend on a person’s income. We can afford it and it is the right thing to do.
2. It is the only right, sensible, economical and practical way to create a healthy Oregon.
3. We shouldn’t be paying twice as much on health care as the citizens of any other country and getting the 32nd best health results.
4. As a first world nation, we the citizens deserve the rights and privileges afforded to our counterparts. Creating an all around fair and balanced health care system will reduce the overall costs for everyone.
5. All deserve to have access to health care; we waste resources by having multiple payers; health providers deserve better compensation.
6. I want to be certain all my friends and relatives have the care they need.
7. Oregon is a leader and can do what big government cannot.
8. I’ve seen first hand the awful dilemmas faced by patients and their families deciding whether to seek medical care and the risk of unbearable cost = delayed care = advanced cancers, unnecessary suffering, physical and financial and emotional.
9. It is wrong for unemployed and underemployed people to pay a huge deductible for the health care which is our right.
10. I’m reluctant to ever go to the doctor (even if I get really, really sick) because I know I won’t be able to afford it.
11. It provides benefits that are currently lacking or only partial: universal coverage, low cost, illness prevention, equality of health care for all citizens.
12. There should be no question whether the richest nation in the history of the world is able to care for the health of its people.
13. The greatest generation struggled to establish the fundamental right to health care as part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
14. Medical care is beyond the financial means of most middle class Americans , even professionals. I feel sorry for my working professional children who can’t and don’t go to the doctor–it’s too expensive.
15. It is more efficient economically. It is more equitable because everyone receives the same service. It is best for keeping a healthy population.
16. Everybody benefits when everybody benefits.
17. Nobody should avoid seeking health care when they need it because they can’t afford it.
18. It is the right thing to do. Period.
19. It’s only fair! Health care should be a fundamental right – not something that’s allocated based on how much you can pay.
20. It is the right choice to make! How can we call our nation the best in the land when we don’t even take care of our most vulnerable citizens. Come on folks; it’s 2016.
21. You never know what can happen. If you and your loved ones don’t have health care, it could mean financial hardship for generations to come.
22. I want a society that doesn’t let people go without food, housing, and healthcare. I want that society’s decisions to be made by people, not profit.
23. It is the only sensible and caring way to promote people’s health.
24. A primary purpose of government should be to safeguard public health. Health care for all is a basic human right as expressed in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
25. In the wealthiest country in the world, it is obscene to have sick people being untreated because they can’t afford the care they need.
26. Women’s health is the next generation’s health.
NOTE: Our first place winners wrote answers number 2 and number 24.