Party Resolutions

Resolution 2017-018: Regarding: Comprehensive, Universal Health Care for Oregon

Sponsored by: Peter Nordbye, Clackamas County Approved: 11/19/2017


WHEREAS, Article 2 of the Democratic Party of Oregon Platform of 2016 affirms “basic health care as a human right” and cites the Party’s belief in “a comprehensive system of single payer health care such as improved Medicare for all” and that “Medicare benefits provide economic security and a foundation for a stable and growing economy for all Americans regardless of social status”; and

WHEREAS, the Democratic Party of Oregon 2016 Priority Legislative Action Item 8 calls for the establishment of “a transparent public process in Oregon to publicly fund and implement a universal, publicly funded comprehensive health care system”; and

WHEREAS, there is a compelling case for business support for universal health; and

WHEREAS, support for universal health care is growing nationally, with polls now finding a substantial majority of voters in favor; and

WHEREAS, Presidential and Congressional efforts to repeal or weaken the Affordable Care Act have produced a heightened public awareness of the importance of affordable comprehensive health care; and

WHEREAS, the Rand study of health care financing in Oregon, commissioned by Oregon HB 2828 (2015) and a 2013 study of The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act (HR 676) by Gerald Friedman have found that a universal coverage system would not be more expensive for households than the status quo, both studies significantly challenging what has been a principal obstacle to public acceptance of such a system; and

WHEREAS, Studies show that in eight states where Medicaid Expansion has taken place (Oregon was included in the study) there was a cost savings of $1.8 billion. The cost savings came from such things as savings in uncompensated emergency room care and taxes collected on Medicaid services; and

WHEREAS, national legislation proposed this fall by Senator Bernie Sanders to create universal healthcare and bills introduced in at least sixteen states in addition to Oregon, including our neighbor states of California and Washington, together demonstrate a widespread public readiness to consider universal healthcare as the solution that is needed; and

WHEREAS, Oregon SB 1046 (2017), a single-payer bill with broad Democratic sponsorship, was introduced without action by the 79th Oregon Legislative Session


Section 1: The Democratic Party of Oregon calls upon the Oregon 80th Legislative Assembly to pass a successor to SB 1046 (2017), subject to referral to the voters by the Legislature, establishing an equitable, comprehensive, affordable, high quality, publicly funded health care system that serves all Oregonians without discrimination and regardless of status, is transparent and accountable, involves meaningful public participation, and is affordable for families, businesses, and society without discrimination.

Section 2: Nothing in this resolution precludes maintaining a robust insurance market in Oregon.