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 underinsurance, 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.
HCAO, a coalition of 118 other organizations, including Nurses for Single Payer, was established in 2012 to achieve the goal. In May, 2015, HCAO members gave testimony to the Oregon Senate Health Care Committee on a bill promoting comprehensive, publicly funded health insurance. Although the bill was tabled for this session, the issue is not dead .HCAO is continuing to work toward legislation and/or ballot initiative by 2020.
A Quick Study:
An articulate speaker on Single Payer is the journalist TR Reid. His book The Healing of America explores how universal health care is paid for in different ways in different countries. The following 6 minute video about single payer on an upcoming Colorado citizen initiated ballot measure is a quick study about how one state is making this happen.