Chair: Lisa Stiller
Vice Chair: Rachelle Dixon
Secretary/Treasurer: Quinton Blanton
State Central Committee Delegate: Kathleen Fitzgerald
State Central Committee Alternate: Kerry Michele
Read the DPO Health Care and Public Health Caucus Bylaws
“1. As health care is a human right, adopt an equitable, high quality, comprehensive, universal healthcare system including general, preventive, and emergency care, plus vision, dental, hearing, substance abuse, hospice care, and mental health services at the state or federal level.”
We are beginning this work in Oregon. The Joint Task Force on Universal Health Care presented its final report at the end of 2022. Here is the link to the full report. https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021I1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/257230
In our 2023 state legislative session Sen Manning’s SB 704 and Rep Nelson’s HB 2558 will establish the Universal Health Plan Governance Board and direct the board to create a comprehensive plan for implementing the Universal Health Plan beginning in 2027.
We need every Democrat working in some way to support our efforts to make sure they every person has access to health care when they need it, regardless of economic status. According to the Oregon Health Authority, 6% of Oregonians lacked health insurance in 2017, and up to 50% of insured Oregonians were under-insured: they cannot afford their copays, premiums, and/or out of pocket expenses for full coverage. This is not acceptable. We believe health care is a human right, and every person residing in the state should be able get the health care they need.
There are many things you can do to achieve our number one legislative priority and support the efforts to bring expanded, improved, Medicare for All to Oregon. There are many things you can do to support efforts to bring universal health care to Oregon. Here are some important points for discussions about universal healthcare. Support for these statements can be found in the Joint Task Force on Universal Health Care final report.
- Meet with your legislators. Write, email, call your legislators. Thank them if they are active supporters, and encourage them to become active supporters. Remember, this is a really a bipartisan issue (Find your Reps: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/findyourlegislator/leg-districts.html). Meeting in person, either in their district or in Salem, is the most effective. But letters, emails, and phone calls also have a huge impact.
- Write a letter to the editor. Submit an article for an opinion column.
- Hold postcard or letter writing parties. It’s a great way to share ideas for writing.
- Host a houseparty or other event featuring speakers and a discussion about universal health care. You can contact the Health Care for All Oregon Speakers bureau at: 541-829-1182. You can also email the DPO Health Care and Public Health Caucus for speakers. You can get tips about speaking about health care for all Oregonians at: https://www.hcao.org/persuasive-speaking/
- Invite a speaker to your County Dems meeting! If you have a legislator in support of health care for all, ask them to speak as well. Use the meeting as an opportunity to recruit people to visit, write/email, and call legislators, and to volunteer!
- You can volunteer to get involved in many others ways by going to hcao.org
Some messaging points are below in support of health care for all, Improved, Expanded, Medicare for All:
- Health Care is a Human Right
- Better care to more people for less money
- Health care should not be rationed by ability to pay: universal health care eliminates financial barriers to health care
- Health care should not depend on one’s employment of economic situation
- Coverage does not mean access, and coverage is not care
- It is delivered in a more equitable manner across income, racial levels
- Focus is on prevention, effective medical treatment, improved outcomes
- Individuals and businesses are paying too much for health care, and outcomes are not often not good
- Health care for All means a healthier workplace, healthier students, and healthier families
- Is publicly financed, directing resources to medical care, minimizing administrative expense and waste
- Ends medical bankruptcies, and provides freedom from medical debt
- You and your provider choose needed care; you get treated for what you need, not what your insurance company will pay for.
- You choose your own provider
- According the Rand Study, a Single Payer system could be implemented without any more cost than we are currently paying, and the study also found that a Single Payer system is the only option that significantly reduces barriers to health care.
Personal stories are also effective, especially if your legislator is wavering, opposed, undecided. They need to hear real stories about real people they represent.
We are counting on all of you to do what you can to turn our Democratic Party of Oregon #1 Legislative Action Item into reality…so all Oregonians can have the health care they need when they need, regardless of economic status. Health Care is a Human Right! Thank you for all of your efforts!
Chair, Lisa Stiller