Health Care For All Oregon: What’s The Latest?
Health Care For All Oregon: What’s The Latest?
Have You Heard?
Universal Health Care is Moving Forward
ALERT: A Public Hearing has been scheduled for SB 704for Monday, Feb. 13, at 1:00pm.
The Task Force on Universal Health Care has recommended the establishment of a permanent Universal Health Plan (UHP) Governance Board to implement the Plan. Read HCAO Summary.
- Pack the room at the hearing–show up in Salem if you can and invite others. (Wear Red)
- Register for Live or Virtual Testimony by clicking Live Testimony. (Also do written)
- Submit written testimony by clicking Written Testimony.
- Invite others to do the same.
What to say or write:
- Keep it short and simple.
- Tell your story about why universal healthcare is important to you. (This is what legislators remember.)
- SB 704 is the critical next step NEEDED as the path forward to create an affordable and equitable healthcare system.
- So, start writing yours now, then submit it even if you plan to provide oral testimony.
Opportunities For Learning And Participating
Senator Merkley Town Halls
Where: Crescent Valley High School Cafeteria, 4444 NW Highland Dr. Corvallis OR 97330
When: Saturday, February 11, 2023, 11:30 a.m.
Where: Linn Benton Community College 6500 Pacific Blvd. SW
Albany, Oregon 97321
When: Saturday, February 11, 2023, 2:30 p.m.
ER Visits Exceed Affordability
From Kaiser Family Foundation “Almost 1 in 10 Americans have medical debt
, and about half of American households do not have the liquid assets
to afford an average employer sponsored plan deductible. More than one third of US adults are unable to afford
a $400 medical expense without borrowing.” Read More
Unions and Employer Bargaining Workshop
On January 11, there was an interactive discussion of engaging with employers about universal healthcare when bargaining.
Why We Exist
Shocking: JAMA Opinion Exposes Greed in Health Care
A newly published opinion in the Journal of the American Medical Association titled: “The Existential Threat of Greed in Health Care” tells so much of what has long been known or expected. This is really no surprise.
“The grip of financial self-interest in US health care is becoming a stranglehold, with dangerous and pervasive consequences. No sector of US health care is immune from the immoderate pursuit of profit, neither drug companies, nor insurers, nor hospitals, nor investors, nor physician practices.” Read the article
Oregon Hospitals Fail at Protecting from Medical Debt
“Consumers for Quality Care” has provided a report on Oregon’s hospitals based on a number of factors:
- Financial Assistance
- Medical Debt Consumer Protection
- Charity Care Spending
- Charging Charity Care Eligible Patients.
“Low income patients who qualified for charity care reported being charged thousands of dollars by nonprofit hospitals in Oregon and being harassed by collection agents.” Read more
Employer Based Insurance–Exposing The Truth
Paxton Rothwell’s testimony to the Senate Committee on Health Care for the Feb.13 Public Hearing:
“For the past two years I have been working through a career transition. It is an extremely daunting process that’s made even worse because healthcare is tied to steady employment. After I left my job in engineering, I suddenly found myself without any health, dental, or vision insurance… Read the testimony
We battle on! Why? Because transformation of health care is both necessary and possible.
Call for HCAO Board Nominations
Each year at the Annual Membership Meeting, the voting members of HCAO elect or re-elect Members to the HCAO Board based on the recommendation of the Nominations and Elections Committee. An in-person meeting and conference is tentatively scheduled for June 10, 2023, in Salem. The positions of Board President, Vice President, and Secretary along with 5 Members-at-Large are up re-election. Some are interested in re-election and some are not. There are also 3 Nominations and Elections Committee members to be chosen. The bylaws
describe the make up and duties of these positions. HCAO has made progress in diversifying the Board in recent years and will continue on this path. The Nominations and Elections Committee takes recommendations from individual and organizational members. If you are an individual member or represent an organizational member and wish to nominate someone, please complete and submit the attached
no later than March 1, 2023.
In The Meantime
Continue to contact your reps . Tell your story over and over and how important universal healthcare is to you. Deliver a clear message that “now is the time to transform healthcare by advancing the recommendation of the Joint Task Force on Universal Health Care to establish and fully fund the Universal Health Care Plan Governance Board
. This is the path to meeting Oregon’s constitutional obligation to achieve health equity and affordability.
- To find your current legislators go here and put in your address.
Your voice will be critical as the legislature decides how to fulfill Oregon’s constitutional mandate that access to healthcare is a right.
Your Financial Support Is Needed
The work to educate about and advocate for universal healthcare is possible ONLY because of YOU.
You can obtain more information from the HCAO website: https://www.hcao.org