WashCo Dems Call to Action: How We Can Help Health Care for All Oregon
Health Care for All Oregon and the WashCo Dems share a vision of universal health care. There are multiple actions which can be taken to help Health Care for All Oregon, including giving testimony to the Oregon Legislature and contacting Ron Wyden. See below for more details and guidance on how to do this!
The Washington County Democrats joined HCAO (Health Care for All Oregon) as an endorsing member several years ago. HCAO (Health Care for All Oregon) is a “statewide movement of over 130 member and endorsing organizations working to achieve a comprehensive, equitable, publicly funded, and high-quality health care system to serve all living in Oregon and the U.S. They do this through community education programs and member and community engagement in advocacy efforts” (HCAO).
The HCAO vision is for a health care system that: ensures comprehensive, high-quality health care to all; provides care based on patients’ needs rather than profits; focuses on prevention, effective treatment and improved medical outcomes; and is publicly financed, directing resources to medical care and minimizing administrative expenses and waste.
Their goals and vision closely align with the priorities of both the WashCo Dems and the DPO (Democratic Party of Oregon). The #1 LAI (Legislative Action Item) of the DPO states: “As health care is a human right, adopt an equitable, high-quality, comprehensive, universal, publicly-funded healthcare system including general, preventative, and emergency care, plus vision, dental, hearing, prescription drugs, long-term care, substance abuse, hospice care, and mental health services at the state or federal level.” The WashCo Dems #14 LAI states: “Implement a Single Payer health care system in Oregon.”
HCAO is currently focused on these areas:
● Joint Task Force on Universal Health Care (JTFUHC)
● Community engagement with the JTFUHC
● Obtaining federal waivers to allow Oregon to fund a single payer system
● Hope Amendment (SJR 12) campaign
HCAO’s ultimate goal is to ensure passage by the legislature of the Health Care for All Oregon Plan now being developed by the JTFUHC. The JTFUHC was created in July 2019 and has been extended until 2023 after earlier covid delays. The task force meets regularly and the link to find the recordings of their meetings can be found here.
Attention is now focused on community engagement by both the Task Force and HCAO. Public testimony is an essential part of engaging the Oregon Legislature in creating the equitable healthcare system that Oregonians desire and deserve. Your personal testimony (verbal and/or written) is important! For more information and guidance on how best to provide testimony, visit our website here, or view this guide. To see footage from previous meetings, and the times and dates of the November and December meetings, click here.
Oregon will need to obtain federal waivers in order to finance and implement a statewide single payer plan. HCAO continues to advocate for a pathway to getting needed waivers through the Budget Reconciliation process in Congress. As Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Wyden is absolutely key in this effort. Several Oregon Senators have now submitted a request to Senator Wyden, as Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, to support the waivers which would provide significant help in getting funding for a state-based system. Your help is needed. Please contact Senator Wyden and ask that he advance the needed waivers in Budget Reconciliation so states can create their own plan. https://www.wyden.senate.gov/contact
The Hope Amendment (SJR 12), a legacy of Representative Mitch Greenlick, will be on the ballot in 2022 and will amend the Constitution. Oregon voters will decide whether the state constitution should guarantee “cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable health care” as a fundamental right. Stay tuned for more information about this campaign in December.
Oregon is moving forward in the right direction and could well become a leader in the movement for a statewide high quality healthcare plan that would cover all – “everybody in, nobody out”. HCAO, with the support of the WashCo Dems, is a leading figure in that movement. If you haven’t already, please sign the HCAO statement of support. https://www.hcao.org/individual-statement-of-support You can find a wealth of information as well at the HCAO website. https://www.hcao.org
- Provide testimony to the Oregon legislature supporting a universal health care plan! Instructions about how to offer testimony can be found in this guide.
- Contact Senator Ron Wyden and ask that he support the inclusion of single payer waivers for the states in the budget reconciliation bill.
- Sign the Health Care for All Oregon statement of support for a statewide universal health care plan in Oregon!