State-based strategies for implementing universal health care

Thursday, June 2, 2016: 1:00 PM-2:00 PM
Galleria II (Hilton Portland)
Our current American healthcare system puts tremendous pressure on individuals and families leading to bankruptcy, foreclosure, and homelessness. The cost of American healthcare, twice that of other developed countries, diverts money away from education, social spending, and housing, resulting in the US having the worst public health in the industrialized world. Achieving healthcare quality, access, and reduced costs for any segment of our population requires a universal care plan. Participants will learn how single payer financing provides better care to more people for less money than is possible with our American private health insurance system. The US Congress, with partisan gridlock, is unlikely to attempt any national healthcare program in the foreseeable future. With Congressional action impossible, states must enact their own statewide healthcare plans. Our presentation will discuss the attempts of Vermont, Colorado, and Oregon to work within current federal constraints to implement statewide universal care. Participants will gain an understanding of the financial advantages of universal care, how single payer maximizes the efficiency of a universal care program, why states will be at the forefront of implementing universal care, the challenges confronting individual states, and what the experiences of Vermont, Colorado, and Oregon might mean for all statewide universal care campaigns.
Peter Mahr, MD (Family Medicine physician, Multnomah County Department of Health, Oregon and President, Portland chapter, Physicians for a National Health Program)
Samuel Metz, MD (Member, Portland chapter, Physicians for a National Health Program)
Charlie Swanson, PhD (Chair, legislative committee, Health Care for All Oregon)
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