PNHP Portland Meeting Minutes April 7, 2009
I. Members Present: Max Wilkins, Millie Priebe, Beverly Brown, Walt Brown, Rick Cohen, Jim Scott,Eulia Mishima , Frank McCullar, Paul Gorman, Debby Schwartz, Joe Eusterman, Steve Weiss, Jerry Schwartz, Peter Mahr
II. Discussion. News events were discussed per the agenda in section II. General discussion ensued mostly focused on how we should present PNHP’s plan for a national health program as many found that “single-payer” often was met with “oh, you mean socialized medicine.” The majority felt that we should present our health care reform plan as a publically funded and privately provided health plan like Medicare. We also felt that we should start discussions with a theme that most Americans agree on: everyone should have access to all needed medical services without regard for ability to pay…. Then go on to describe our plan. Try to focus less on single payer and avoid discussions of socialized medicine and government control.
III. Project Updates
- Rick Cohen contacted PNHP regarding funding and administrative items for our group. PNHP is supportive and will try to provide support within reason for our activities. It was felt that we should have Letter Head and we should ask Corvallis PNHP to send us a stack. It was felt that business cards for limited use should be obtained and Peter Mahr is to contact PNHP to ask them to send us a box. If not he will order a box from a local company.
- Discussed Norm Castillo’s resolution in Support of HR676 to be presented at the OAFP meeting May 8-10: there were some questions as to what the purpose of the resolution was: we felt that if the purpose was to spark discussion and educate members through discussion and debate of the resolution (and not necessarily to try and have it passed), then it was effective as written.
However, we felt that if the purpose was to have the resolution passed then it should be "short and sweet," and build on a concept that everyone can agree on.
For a resolution aiming to pass we felt that the resolution should go something like this:
WHEREAS every person should receive needed medical care regardless of ability to pay and
WHEREAS H.R. 676 would assure universal coverage of all medically necessary services under a non-profit single payer program while containing costs and slashing bureaucracy, so therefore
BE IT RESOLVED that the OAFP expresses its support for universal access to comprehensive, affordable, high-quality health care through single payer national health insurance, HR 676.
If it was felt that if supporting documents were needed then an attached memo detailing the points made in the original WHEREAS statements from Norm’s resolution could be provided.
Peter Mahr will pass these thoughts on the Norm and discuss this with him. Regardless of the final version we will attempt to get this cosigned by as many local FP’s as possible.
IF ANYONE IN OUR GROUP IS AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF OAFP, PLEASE CONTACT PETER MAHR () AND NORM CASTILLO () REGARDING THIS ISSUE!!
- Representative Staff meetings: Wu on Thursday, Blumenauer on Friday. No meeting with Schrader at this point.
- Debby Schwartz passed around a list of all union locals that have endorsed HR 676 and Walt and Beverly passed out a list of all Oregon or national organizations with Oregon Ties that have endorsed HR 676. I will attach this to the minutes. Please contact Walt, Beverly and Debbie if you know of more organizations they may have missed.
- Rick Cohen has joined OPA (Oregon Psychiatry Association) and is now a member of their program planning committee. The OPA will discuss health care reform at their 1/10 annual meeting. He plans to steer them towards single payer.
- Recruiting: ideas were to contact AMSA leaders at OHSU. Peter to do. Paul to contact health reform group at OHSU med school. Please continue to spread the word: pass pout peter’s email freely as a contact.
- Steve Weiss has a contact at KBOO. Suggests a press release re the Health care Forum Event 4/16.
- “Sick Around the World” house parties were held 3/31: 10 people at Peter’s, 6 at Joe’s and 3 at Maxine’s.
IV New Actions
- April Healthcare Forum: to be held from 6-8 PM at the FirstUnitarianChurch, SW 12th and Main. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, State Sen. Alan Bates and (our own) Dr. Mike Huntington are panel members.
THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT EVENT FOR PNHP PORTLAND. WE MUST MAKE OUR VOICE HEARD. I URGE ALL MEMBERS TO ATTEND THIS EVENT.
SINCE BLUMENAUER IS SPEAKING FROM 6-6:15, TAKING Q&A, THEN LEAVING THE PREMISES WE MUST BE THERE EARLY, SHOW OUR PRESENCE IN THE CROWD AND ASK QUESTIONS REGARDING SINGLE PAYER.
WE PLAN TO HAVE BUTTONS/HATS ETC AVAILABLE FOR ALL SINGLE PAYER SUPPORTERS TO WEAR SO WE STAND OUT IN THE CROWD.
PNHP will have a table at the event… Please contact Peter Mahr ( ) if you can help man the booth.
2. Portland City Council resolution Supporting HR 676. HermanFrankel was not at the meeting. I will send him updates and ask him how we can support this effort. If anyone has a contact with thecity council please let Herman Frankel
3. Elders In Action resolution to support HR 676: Steve Weiss and Joe Eusterman to take the lead on this. Likely to be postponed until May.
4. National Day of Action to Support HR 676: PNHP and Healthcare NOW are organizing this for May 30, 2009. Joe Eusterman will be the main contact for this.
Joe is looking for 3-4 other members to help plan an action for this day (town hall, demonstration, any funny/attention getting ideas are welcome… think “The Yes Men.”)
5. The UN Association of Oregon is hosting a single payer event from 3:30-5:30 PM on Sunday 5/3/09 at the FirstMethodistChurch. PNHP will have a table and speak at the event. Please show your support. More details as this gets closer.
6. Maxine Fookson has expressed interested in starting a parallel nurses organization for single payer. Debby Schwartz is to contact her to help Maxine make connections with Oregon nurses associations that are single payer supporter i.e. OFNP’s. Debby Schwartz: and Maxine:
V. Next Meeting: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at the ILR.