Single Payer, for us, is a short-hand way of saying we support health care as a human right, and we are working for an equitable, affordable, comprehensive, high quality, publicly funded health care system serving everyone in Oregon. This will mean dramatic changes in the way we pay for health care.
In 2015, the US Census Bureau reported there are 33 million people lacking health insurance. Despite improvements through the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured Americans is expected to persist for decades. And the census report does not address the rapidly worsening problem of under-insurance, which is deterring millions of insured from seeking needed care.
We urgently need to move beyond our existing system. We have learned that single payer systems throughout the developed world provide access to care, at a much lower cost, while achieving much better health outcomes. Medicare is one example of a single payer system, providing access to care for older and disabled Americans, with minimal administrative costs.
Health Care for All Oregon, a coalition of over 100 other organizations, including Nurses for Single Payer, was established in 2012 to achieve this goal. HCAO has been instrumental in the growing support for single payer reform in Oregon, and is continuing to work toward legislation and/or ballot initiative by 2020.
A Quick Study:
An articulate speaker on Single Payer is the internationally-known journalist TR Reid, who has come to Oregon on speaking tours several times. His book The Healing of America explores how universal health care is paid for in different ways in different countries.