We all have the opportunity to vote YES on Measure 101 this January. Here are four things you need to know today about Measure 101!Read More
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
Please help Colorado in their quest for universal health care.They need a lot of support from all
over the U.S. to get their ballot initiative passed next November!! Any state's attempt to provide universal publicly funded health care should be supported by all of us who are working to eventually get Single Payer for All!
Here's a Letter to the Editor to the Corvallis Gazette-Times by MVHCA Vice-Chair Tim Roach
December 01, 2015 5:00 am
Our nation's largest health insurer — UnitedHealth — is seriously considering pulling out of Obamacare as early as 2017 (BloombergBusiness, Nov. 19). The insurer has lost millions and anticipates losses of $500 million in 2016. The word is Anthem and Aetna are in a similar circumstance.
What happened? Insurers agreed to cover 10 categories of health care benefits; accept higher cost individuals; limit excess administrative costs and profits, and submit premium increases to insurance regulators for public scrutiny.
Thus the Affordable Care Act was crafted to keep premiums down and require greater cost sharing by patients. Government subsidies were provided to assist lower-income individuals. And when that was still not enough, insurers leveraged narrow provider networks to contract for cheaper medical services, and increased deductibles, shifting more of the costs to patients.
Guess what? It isn’t working — for insurers or patients! Congress created an administratively complex system that has made it almost impossible for insurers to offer a product that meets the required basic plan and has affordable premiums. Additionally, the combination of premiums and deductibles are pricing many patients out of health care. So now insurers are beginning to back out!
Well, that’s fine, because it offers the opportunity of replacing for-profit insurers with a financing plan designed for patient care, as is the case in almost all other developed countries around the world. A well-designed, publicly funded health care program would restore choices and make health care available to everyone. Health Care for ALL!
It was cold but not wet and MVHCA had a good turnout of activists to march (and ride) in the Corvallis Holiday Parade on November 28. They sang seasonal carols (with health care lyrics), carried signs, and wore "Who" headgear. Here are some of the photos courtesy of Mina Carson and Carol Huntington. Thank you to all!
Please join us in the Corvallis Holiday Parade and be one of the many "Whos" demanding their right to health care from the "Grinches" of Big Pharma and Big Insurance! The good news is that it won't be raining, but dress warmly because it will be cold.
We will gather on Washington between 6th and 7th, group #27. Please try to arrive between 6 and 6:45. The parade starts at 7 but you can join us whenever you can. Feel free to invite your family and friends. Children always appreciated.
In the words of Betty Johnson of MVHCA and HCAO:
"HB 2828 was passed by the full Ways and Means Committee. It had previously passed the Health and Human Services sub-committee of Ways & Means. Now the bill will be part of the total state budget which will be acted upon by the Senate and the House. Good news!"
Here are the details from the Lund Report:
A study first conceived by Sen. Michael Dembrow in 2013 that passed without funding, has repassed with $300,000 in state money after private donations came up short. Support for the study has a bipartisan history, but as a thorough and objective study comes closer to a reality, the political pressure mounts against it. The state money, however, is enough for the study to move forward.
The Oregon universal healthcare financing study bill cleared the top budget committee after a contentious hearing Monday, with $300,000 attached to design the best way of financing a universal healthcare system in Oregon.
House Bill 2828 has been a top priority of Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, as well as single-payer activists, who believe it will lead to their preferred method of healthcare financing system through a government-managed health insurance plan. But the bill specifically asks for an objective study weighing four options, pointedly not recommending any option such as single payer.
The hearing was subject to an array of misinformation about the bill, perhaps the result of behind-the-scenes pressure from the hospital and insurance industry lobbies, which could stand to lose millions if Oregon adopted single-payer. Now, a substantial amount of money spent by government and Oregon businesses intended for patient care is being diverted to industry profits and lucrative salaries for hospital management even at non-profit hospitals.
In particular, Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, who had previously supported an unfunded study in 2013, joined all but one of the Republicans in opposing HB 2828 in the Ways & Means Committee, telling her colleagues she was worried that private money could bias the outcome, since the study was projected to cost twice as much as the state allocation -- $600,000 -- and was relying on private sources for the reminder.
“What I’m worried about is a tsunami of private contributions that could come flooding in to influence the outcome,” Johnson posited.
“I would be a yes if I thought the study would be objective, but I don’t see there’s any way,” said Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton, a dentist. “I think right now we’re a bunch of lemurs heading off the cliff, and you’re going to have a bunch of lemurs doing the study.”
In fact, HB 2828 came about because that unfunded 2013 study only attracted about $50,000 in pledges and donations, too little to do a study. As Dembrow explained later to The Lund Report, the $300,000 in state money will be enough for the Oregon Health Authority to move forward with the study. And if any additional private donations were to influence the outcome, it would defeat the purpose of the study and discredit the outcome, which is informational and non-binding.
“I think we will be prepared to go forward with the study with the $300,000, and money we’ve already raised. The more we put into the study, the more the researchers will be able to answer,” Dembrow said. “The results of the study won’t do any good if they’re perceived to be tainted. We’re hoping it will put forward credible, Oregon-focused information.”
“That’s enough to do a good study,” agreed Dr. Sam Metz, a Portland anesthesiologist who has had the difficult task of soliciting private funds since 2013. “Most of the Legislature who are aware of the study know that it’s a value.”
Dembrow said since a lot of scholarship has already been completed on healthcare financing in the United States, the researchers could piggyback on that work, although with more money, they could do a more thorough analysis. The study could possibly be conducted by healthcare researchers at Oregon State University,by another university or by health financing experts at a private firm such as Wakely Consulting, but any contract would be awarded through an open bidding process.
The concept for a study has a much more bipartisan history than what appeared at Monday’s hearing, when just one Republican, Sen. Jackie Winters of Salem, supported the measure. In 2013, Johnson as well as two Republicans who are now on the Ways & Means Committee supported an unfunded predecessor health financing study, Sen. Bill Hansell of Pendleton and Rep. Gene Whisnant of Sunriver.
On the floor, Republicans such as Sen. Jeff Kruse of Roseburg and Rep. Andy Olson of Albany had supported House Bill 3460, paying deference to part of the study that will look at a bare-bones universal health coverage plan that could potentially be funded by a sales tax -- a longtime goal of former Sen. Frank Morse, a progressive Republican from Albany. It also had the support of 2014 GOP gubernatorial candidate Rep. Dennis Richardson of Central Point.
Below is a list of our big events coming up in July. Please let us know if you are interested in volunteering to help with any of these. You are also welcome to march with us in the 4th of July Parade and help with tabling at the Saturday Corvallis Farmer's Market. Volunteers are always needed, welcomed, and appreciated!
For the parade come to 8th Street between Jefferson and Monroe at 9:30 to line up wearing your red shirt if you have one. We will have signs for you to carry promoting Health Care for ALL, The parade begins at 10 and proceeds down Monroe Street and ends at the Riverfront.
What: Celebrate the 50th birthday of Medicare, “As American as Apple Pie!”
Hosts: Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates (mvhca.org)
When: Saturday, July 18, 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Riverfront Park in Corvallis, near the Saturday Farmers’ Market.
Why: Medicare, which faced widespread opposition in 1965 and was roundly opposed as “socialized medicine,” today allows 48 million Americans affordable access to health care.
Enjoy music, cupcakes, and short inspirational testimonies - more –
What: T.R. Reid comes to Oregon, speaks in the Mid-Valley
U.S. Health Care, What to Do About It”
When: Saturday, July 25, 7:00 p.m. to 9 p.m.,
Where: LBCC, Takena Hall, Russell Tripp Theater. Free admission
Why: “Our Costly and Troubled Sick Care System
What: T.R. Reid comes to Oregon, speaks in Salem
When: Saturday, July 25, noon to 1:15 p.m.
Why: “Obamacare: Is It the Answer?”
Starts around 8 minutes in.
Thank you to all who attended to show your support.
You can help MVHCA as we work for single payer health care by donating, hosting a house party, signing up for the newsletter, and attending our monthly meetings. You can also Like us on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter. Thank you.
The Oregon Senate Health Care Committee has scheduled a hearing for SB 631, Michael Dembrow’s 2015 Health Care for All Oregon Act on May 4, 2015. The hearing will be at the Oregon State Capitol, 900 Court St NE, Salem, in Hearing Room A. Please attend to show support for affordable, publicly funded, universal health care.
To help people get to the hearing, HCAO has a carpool page setup. Use this carpool tool to request a ride, or to offer rides.
Click here to join the event on Facebook and invite your friends.
From CitizenVox guest blogger J. Thomas
This month, Dr. Gerald Friedman, Chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, released a new study on the potential cost savings if New York state implemented a single-payer, universal health care system. In a single-payer system, every American would be guaranteed a basic level of health care, much like Medicare guarantees health coverage to American seniors.
Among the findings from Friedman’s estimates: 98 percent of New Yorkers would save money; 2 percent of New Yorkers – those making more than $436,000 annually – would pay more via increased taxes; New Yorkers would save an average of $2,200 each year; and business savings would spur the creation of 200,000 jobs. Moreover, Friedman says, “New York’s overall economic savings from a single-payer model reduces health care spending by $45 billion.”
“This detailed economic study gives us clear proof that a universal health care plan is the right move for New York,” said Assembly Health Committee chair and lead sponsor Richard Gottfried.
It’s more urgent than ever for New Yorkers to learn about the benefits of universal health care. In December, Public Citizen Health Care Advocate Vijay Das spoke before New York legislators as part of a series of historic meetings in support of the New York Health Bill, which would extend health coverage to every New Yorker. The bill currently has 77 cosponsors (out of 150) in the New York Assembly and 19 cosponsors (out of 63) in the New York Senate.
More than 80 New York organizations have endorsed single-payer, including Physicians for a National Health Program New York Metro Chapter; HealthCare-NOW! NYC; New York League of Women Voters; Green Party; Working Families Party; New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus; New York AFL-CIO and many other labor unions, health and consumer groups.
The report acknowledges that our current system is both inefficient and unaffordable. The political reality is that the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”) was compromise legislation that fell short of providing universal health coverage. While the ACA extends the benefits of insurance to more Americans, it’s built on a weak foundation that preserves the inefficiencies of the for-profit health insurance industry.
The United States is the only country in the developed world that doesn’t guarantee health insurance to its citizens. What’s more, we spend more money on health care as a percentage of our gross domestic product than any other country in the world – rich or poor – with poorer outcomes.
There is a large and growing number of citizens who favor the move to universal health care in the United States. A new poll shows that most Americans support single-payer health care, including 80 percent of Democrats. President Obama himself backed single-payer as a state senator in Illinois.
The nation deserves universal health care and if New York leads the way on single-payer, it would be an innovative laboratory of democracy — as the states were envisioned to be by the founders of our federal system.
J. Thomas is a health policy fellow with Public Citizen’s Congress Watch.
At the Mar. 12 Sustainability Fair MVHCA was asked to have interactive features so we made lots of photo petitions—25 in the two hours we had! On the right panel of our display board was an actual photo petition and a note inviting people to tell their legislators their advocacy for universal health care—and this made it easy to describe to people what we asked them to do. Thanks to Don Hall for processing them to send to HCAO for their website. In 2 hours we made 25 photos!
Don Hall made the diagrams for our board. Shelley Ries, Maxine Eckes, Jim Gore, and Bobbi Hall were the regular volunteers. and MVHCA Chair, Ron Green, stopped by and gave our hard-working volunteers some time off to get food at the fair. A busy and successful time! Thank you to all our dedicated volunteers!