A local grass roots group is trying to create more momentum for Oregon’s Health Plan. There is a meeting coming up at Newport’s Visual Arts Center in Nye Beach to enlist support for a wider, more visible display of support for Oregon’s pioneering efforts to bring down the cost of medical care while improving medical outcomes. The following is from Dr. Jerry Robbins and coastal progressive Joanne Cvar
The purpose of this Health Care for All coalition is to ensure that the efforts for improved delivery of medical services undertaken by the newly forming Coordinated Care Organizations will be made available to all residents of the state, regardless of ability to pay. Vermont has done this. Oregon can too.
The effort to bring affordable universal health care to Oregon as a public good and a human right will require grassroots organizing and information-sharing. Mike Huntington, MD, president of the Health Care for All coalition and a founder of the Mad as Hell Doctors, will join Jerry Robbins, a local internist, and Lincoln County health care advocates on Thursday, June 7 at 7 p.m. in the second-floor meeting room of the Visual Arts Center, 777 NW Beach Drive in Newport, to discuss organizing a chapter to advance these efforts in our community.
According to Dr. Huntington, health care in the US costs twice as much per capita as that of other industrialized countries: we overuse expensive high-tech medical procedures, we do not demand that our governments bargain for price with the health care industry, and we tolerate a 10-30% administrative overhead to accommodate the private insurance industry. There is little incentive for profit-motivated firms to invest in disadvantaged or underemployed Americans. 30% of Oregonians are uninsured or under-insured. Every two months 8,000 Americans (one in Lincoln County) die because they can’t afford health insurance. Annually 80,000 Americans go bankrupt (72 in Lincoln County) because of profit incentives that make health care either unavailable or too expensive.
Please join your neighbors at the Health Care for All-Oregon organizational meeting on June 7 to help heal our broken medical system, to tell your story, and to work to make our community and our nation a better, healthier place for everyone.