Organizing and training volunteers to spread the word about the Advisory Question that will be on the Corvallis ballot in November will be our focus.  We will need people to pass out information at places like the library and the Farmers’ Market.  We will also canvass neighborhoods to get our message out.  Training sessions led by Mike Huntington and Bruce Thomson will start in early September.  Please contact Cindy Scott at if you would like to help out.
Fri., Sept 9, 12 noon, Salem City Club:  Debate on Measure 97 (Corporate tax) Call Mike Huntington to carpool 541-829-1182.   There is a $7 admission fee.
Sat., Sept. 10, 6 – 8 pm, 2nd Saturdays (local coalition to end war), presents at Old World Deli,“Crooked Kate”:  Rita Brown on guitar andAnne Ridlington on the cello in a benefit for MVHCA. (See poster below)
Rita Brown is well known as a performer in the popular group, “The Flow”. Anne Ridlington is the lead cellist with the Eugene Symphony, and plays locally with the Corvallis Symphony and the Chintimini Festival, among other groups. Their combination is both unique and dynamic.     R Hall
Wed., Sept. 14th, 2 pm Legislative Team, First Presbyterian Church.
Thurs., Sepy. 15th 12n – 1:30 Linn Benton Health Equity Alliance, Corvallis Library.  Monthly meeting to discuss health and wellness in our region.
Sun., Sept. 18th“Pedalpalooza”, a car-free day event on the riverfront, sponsored by the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition.
Mon., Sept. 19th 5:30 – 7 pm.  Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). All are welcome to these 3rd Monday meetings, held at homes of activists who like to ponder the imponderables of moving to universal health care.  RSVP Mike Huntington 541-829-1182.
Sept. 24th & Sept 25th (10 – 6 pm/ 10 – 5 pm), Corvallis Fall Festival:  Artists, live music. Also 1K, 5K & 10K runs.  (See website)
Mon., Sept. 26th 7 – 9 pm., Fourth Monday General MVHCA Meeting, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 2945 NW Circle Dr.
Wed., Oct. 12th, 7 pm, Candidates’ Forum, Corvallis Library,
Sat., Nov. 12th HCAO Membership Meeting in Corvallis.  First Presbyterian Church is willing for us to use their large fellowship hall and kitchen—at no charge.  Tim Roach is calling for volunteers to work for the membership meeting.  Needed are:
Set-up crew: 6 persons for THURSDAY night Nov. 10
Food Service Licensee: To oversee our use of kitchen
Kitchen crew for 11-12-16: To keep coffee coming & snacks out
Providers of snacks                                          Email Tim to volunteer


Needed: Canvassers for Healthcare Advisory Measure.

Are you willing to spend a few evenings or afternoons walking and talking for universal healthcare?  Mid-September through November 7 MVHCA volunteers will be canvassing Corvallis voters in each ward to support advisory ballot measure 2-95. This measure urges the legislature to pay close attention to the results of the RAND study Commissioned by the Legislature in 2015 and to use the study findings to develop a universal healthcare system that serves all Oregonians.
Why do this? It”s a chance to meet people in your neighborhood and to let them know about the advisory measure and the healthcare for all movement. It’s easy, fun, and an interesting way to help us get the word out and gather support for the measure and the movement.
Volunteers will be invited to take part in brief training sessions and then go door-to-door using the script below or your own version of it.  You don’t have to know the answers to a great many questions.  You can rely on your easy-to-support position that health care remains far too costly, complex, and confusing and that we can create a much better system when the court of public opinion directs our elected officials to act in our favor.
I am _____________, a volunteer with mid Valley healthcare advocates wanting to let you know about a ballot measure coming to Corvallis voters this November. Do you have a minute?
The question in the ballot measure is: Shall the Oregon legislature, through a public process, design a health care system that serves all Oregonians?
A no vote would send the message that we are satisfied with our health care system and do not want change.
A yes vote would send a message to the Oregon Legislature that the residents of Corvallis expect the legislature to, with public participation, create law that will result in a reliable access to health care for all Oregon residents.
Do you have any concerns about access to good health care for yourself, your family, others?”
As you mentally jot down expressed concerns, incorporate them in a brief explanation of why you intend to make sure every resident of Oregon has access to good health care and why you feel Obamacare or CCOs are helpful but not the solution and that our health care remains far too complex, costly, and confusing.
“Do you have any questions?”  (Refer to FAQ sheet)
Look for signs of interest and decide whether to ask them to:
1. Sign a statement of support for health care for all Oregon residents?  
 2. Stay updated about health care for all Oregon?  May we email you?  
     Ask them to write in their email address and read it back for accuracy.  
You will have literature (primarily informational bookmarks) to hand to voters or leave at the door if no one is at home.

      PNHP Meeting on Single Risk Pool

Marisabel Gouverneur and Norm Nelson hosted the monthly local PNHP meeting on August 15.  In the photo Paul Hochfeld holds forth with his single risk pool rationale to rapt attention of the attendees.  All are welcome to these 3rd Monday meetings, 5:30-7:00 p.m., held at homes of activists who like to ponder the imponderables of moving to universal health care.  RSVP Mike Huntington 541-829-1182.

News From Around the State

Currently HCAO has eleven active chapters, ranging in activity levels from “very active” to “intermittent”.  Local leaders communicate monthly by conference call.  Tim Roach and Mike Huntington participate for MVHCA.
The most frequently reported activities are tabling and house parties.  The “Fix It” movie is being more widely shown.  Ashland, like Corvallis, is moving ahead with an advisory local ballot measure.  

Lee Mercer reported that the Thomas Lauderdale benefit was a smashing success, both as entertainment and fundraiser--$15,000+ raised.  It was held at Lauderdale’s home, a treasure-trove of art.  Thomas conducted one of his famous singalongs.  A doo-wop group, the Sh Boomers, performed.  Hunter Noack performed classical solos, including an accompaniment to slow motion diving footage from Leni Riefenstahl’s classic “Olympia”, made at the 1938 Olympics.  The event had numerous sponsors, including PNHP and several makers of wine, beer and distilled liquors.

Guests mingling at the Thomas Lauderdale benefit

Lee Mercer called for an  Action/Operations Plan to activate the ground level of the organization especially as regards signature gathering for the 2020 Ballot Measure.  HCAO’s Operational Plan will seek to report monthly steps necessary for us to win the ballot measure. Sandra Conyer is in the process of identifying people who agree to be longer-term contacts with their legislators.

                   Campeones de Salud:  Family Swim Day at Osborne

Aquatic CenterSunday, August 14 Hossien El-Nashaar and Cindy Scott (later, Betty Johnson and Shelly Ries) tabled at the “Campeones de Salud” (Champions for Health) Family Swim Day at the Osborn Aquatic Center. MVHCA had a table at Family Swim Day.  The event was a health fair for low-income families--to get free health screenings and have a fun time with the family at Osborn Aquatic Center.  It was a huge success! Many health-related organizations had tables.  At our table, we were lucky to have our Egyptian Spanish-speaking volunteer, Hossien El-Nashaar, who was wonderfully enthusiastic and engaging.

             Health Care in the USA: Are We Ready for Reform Again?

August 1st Forum in Portland

It was a powerhouse of prestigious and knowledgeable speakers at the August 1st forum sponsored by City Club of Portland and PNHP.  Dr. John Kitzhaber, known for reorganizing Oregon’s Medicaid program while serving as a state senator and as governor; Dr. Donald Berwick, former administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS); and Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capula, executive director of the Avel Gordly Center for healing at OHSU and professor of public psychiatry there. Dr. Paul Gorman, Assistant Dean for Rural Medical Education at OHSU, was moderator.   Overall it was a rich program with many ideas the public and legislators can learn from.  At least two Oregon legislators, Rep. Mitch Greenlick and Sen. Michael Dembrow were there. 

The moderator asked a set of questions which each of the panelists responded to and discussed.  The questions were about health care reform in the US with an emphasis on Oregon’s version.  All three speakers agreed that health care is a fundamental right and should be affordable, accessible and adequate.  But emphasis and how to get there differed among the panelists.  Dr. Berwick had a national and administrative view, while Governor Kitzhaber and Dr. Moreland-Capula focused on Oregon and took a pragmatic administrative and patient-care view.  All agreed that waste occurs in the present health care system and, with such funds re-directed to social infrastructure, improvements could be made.

All agreed to a “right to healthcare” including social determinants such as adequate housing, food as well as access to care.   Dr. Moreland-Capula consistently pressed her point that we have a health care market with a variety of insurers vs. a healthcare system; a system needs to be readily accessible and cohesive.  Dr. Berwick emphasized the unintended consequences of some policies, such as Medicare’s Part D, which provides pharmaceutical coverage but has no mandate to control costs.  

How we could improve the health care system now was the final question addressed.  Three  unique responses unfolded.  Governor Kitzhaber suggested a redeployment of resources in order to target upstream approaches to patient needs and a basic floor of services for all, similar to the school system.  Dr. Berwick postulated that we need to keep the Triple Aim (Better health, Better care and Lower costs) in mind so we know where we are going. He also recommended fixing pharmacy coverage by capping costs, and he encouraged states to experiment with different models of health care such as single payer.  He praised the Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) design because its global and flexible coverage allows community systems to address upstream contributors to disease.  He also emphasized the importance of addressing health impacts in all policies, beyond the health care sector, which would address well-being more holistically.  Dr. Paul Gorman and Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capula spoke most strongly for universal coverage in any state program, while for Kitzhaber and Berwick universal coverage seemed to be not as strong a priority.  Otherwise, we heard some enticing gems and perhaps some new commitments.

This was a trip to Portland worth making!  It was an opportunity to hear a balanced and articulate discussion of healthcare reform from different perspectives at a pivotal time.  I can see MVHCA having a discussion about these ideas and even devising action steps to move them forward.                                                                                  

Submitted by Judy Sundquist, August 3, 2016

Roberta Hall edited the session for radio and this program can be heard at:
She thanks Metro East Community Media for sharing the audio of the video recording made at the event. There is a YouTube recording courtesy of Metro East media and Emily Vidal at  Samuel Metz of HCAO played a critical role in making the forum happen, and getting it recorded.  

Photo at left by David Young

Tabling at the Farmers’ Market…You Never Know What You’ll Hear


Tabling at the Farmers’ Market recently Mike Huntington and Shelley Ries had a steady stream of visitors.  Among them was an Italian pilot on a work visa (not related to his piloting).  He was incredulous and dismayed by the US health care non-system.  After arriving here several months ago he required an emergency appendectomy.  Bills kept coming for weeks, totaling $12,000.  (He was lucky it wasn't $40,000.)  In Italy he would have received no bill.  
Later we spoke with an OSU student from Saudi Arabia. He said medical care is provided without charge to Saudi residents (citizens, I presume).  I asked why the king and the government decided to make health care available to all citizens.  He said, "We are a wealthy country."  I said, "The US is wealthy too but does not make sure its people have access to good health care.  Why does the Saudi King do this?"  He said that the king stays aware of what his people need and wants them to have good lives.
Tabling is very very interesting ...and fun.  Please let Cindy Scott know you want to help and go to the tabling Google Drive site  and sign up for vacancies in September and October.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Reported by Mike Huntington

Linn Benton Health Equity Alliance Changes Leadership

In 2008 a group of concerned community members formed a coalition to explore the idea of health equity.  In 2016 it is thriving organization spanning two counties with active partnerships, consistent funding and numerous successes under its belt.  Its project coordinator for these eight years, Karen Levy, will be leaving that post. Brigetta Olson from Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services will be organizing a search to replace her.
Meetings of the Linn Benton Health Equity Alliance are open to anyone, free, interesting and interactive.  The topics include housing, rural health, homelessness, tobacco, racism, aging, transportation, food security and early childhood education.  If you have another topic you are interested in, we will work to get it on the schedule.
Meetings are informal and BYOL & B (Bring your own lunch and beverage).  We always offer Spanish-English simultaneous translation and soon will have equipment to help those with hearing loss to participate.  We rotate locations, requiring a space that can accommodate up to 50 people.
 Submitted by Karen Levy
         Brigetta Olsen 

     Private Insurers Pull Out of Obamacare in Many States

Aetna suddenly announced on August 15 that it will soon pull out of Obamacare exchanges in 11 states.  Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini had told the U.S. Department of Justice (D.O.J.) in July that if it  did not approve the $37 billion merger he was planning with Humana, another huge insurance company, he would direct his company to begin pulling out of Obamacare.  United Healthcare announced earlier this year that it would pull out of 26 among the 34 states where it offered insurance.   All have said that they were losing money in the Obamacare exchanges.  

Mergers give a company more power in the market.  The D.O.J. is charged to prevent mergers that would result in a “restraint of trade” or monopoly power. Some commentators have supposed that the pullout of large companies foreshadows the demise of Obamacare.  Others hope it will be an impetus for the creation of a “public option”—a government program to replace private insurers. 

In response to Aetna’s announcement, Sen. Bernie Sanders declared that he will reintroduce his Medicare-for-all single-payer system in the next Congress, which he hopes will have a Democratic majority. Sanders believes that if Colorado passes Amendment 69 on the ballot in November, the rest of the states will follow soon after.
P.S. If you want to see Bernie's speech endorsing Amendment 69, you can click here to watch the video.

          Oregon Health Equity Alliance Releases: 
A Healthy Oregon: 21st Century Health Equity Investments Report 


Oregon currently ranks 31st in state public health funding, 21% below the median state. Too many Oregonians are sick and die prematurely due to preventable disease. The time is now to close the gap on persistent and historic health disparities. 
That is according to a recently released report,  Healthy Oregon: 21st Century Health Equity Investments Report. The report noted that 13.5% of Native Americans and 22.5% African Americans adults in Oregon have diabetes compared to 7.4% of white adults. Chronic disease, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, is the leading cause of death in Oregon. Read the full report here.  
OHEA 240 N Broadway, Suite 115 Portland, OR 97227 703­772 4206


Attend our Fourth Monday General MVHCA Meetings!
At Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
2945 NW Circle Dr.    7 – 9 pm.,
Next meeting: Mon., Sept. 26th

The MVHCA Bookmobile (&DVDs) appears at our Fourth Monday General Meetings

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