Senate Bill 770-B passed both Houses Sunday!

Governor Brown has said she would sign such a bill.

             

 This is a remarkable turn of events.

In January, Healthcare ForAll Oregon and MVHCA were on a path of presenting our single-payer bill essentially unchanged from the ones introduced every biennium since 2011. Such a bill might have had a courtesy hearing in the health care committees with rooms full of redshirted activists and may have stirred a rally on the steps of the Capitol…and end there.

Then Sen. Dembrow turned SB 770 over to Sen. Manning of Eugene so Dembrow could turn his attention to the cap and trade bill. Manning and several strategists including Dembrow, Charles Gallia from the Portland area, President Tom Sincic and other members of HCAO including Bruce Thomson here in Corvallis and Charlie Swanson of Eugene designed SB 770. The approved version, SB 770-B, will set state-based universal health care on a path similar to that which used during the formation of the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) in the mid 1990s.

Under SB 770-B a task force will be commissioned to put together all of the elements needed for universal health care system. The plan will be taken around the state for town hall input as was done for OHP. During town halls the public found flaws in the OHP proposal that were missed by the professionals. Those were corrected and we ended up with a good system which has served Medicaid patients well for over 20 years.

MVHCA and HCAO have been successful at prompting the needed support and legislation for universal health care. Now we all must get involved in making sure the intent of the bill is carried out. That will mean MVHCA (you are invited) will make many trips to Salem and many phone calls and emails to help choose members of the Task Force and then stay in communication with those members over the next two years.

Stay tuned and learn more about Oregon’s SB 770-B and the federal bills (H.R. 1384 and S 1129) for universal health care. We plan to have a Corvallis town hall in late October to explain SB 770-B and the federal bills.

Michael C. Huntington MD

Vice-Chair

Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates

Health Care for All, Everybody In, Nobody Out

hcao.org   mvhca.org

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