Health Care for All Oregon (2013)
Notes by Sally Hollemon
At the Morning Unit Dr. Michael Huntington spoke on Health Care for All Oregon, an organization working toward a single-payer health care system. He urged support for the following bill before the Oregon Legislature:
HB3260–Requires the Oregon Health Authority to conduct a study (or to contract with a third party to study) and recommend the best option for financing health care in the state. The measure specifies criteria for evaluating options, and it requires a report to interim health care committees and to the 2015 regular session of the Legislative Assembly. Among the criteria for evaluation are providing universal access to comprehensive care; enhancing primary care; focusing on preventative health care; integrating physical, dental, vision and mental health care; integrating long-term care; allowing the choice of the primary care provider; and reducing administrative costs. Dr. Huntington said that in Vermont a similar study led to a state single-payer system. You can read HB3260 by clicking on the following web address:http://openstates.org/or/bills/2013%20Regular%20Session/HB3260/documents/ORD00008642/.
A recent article in Time magazine explained why health care costs so much in the U.S. Key reasons are high prices, especially for hospital care, prescriptions and medical devices, as well as high administrative and marketing costs. You can read that article at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2136864,00.html.
A short commentary on the Time article at http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/02/22/brill_on_health_care_steven_brill_s_opus_on_hospital_prices.html?wpisrc=newsletter_jcr:content recommends either that Medicare cover everyone (as in Canada) or that price controls be used (as is done in most European countries and Singapore) to keep the cost of health care down.