HCAO Eugene celebrates the rally and rolls up its sleeves!

by Patricia Bittner

Thanks to all who traveled to Salem Monday, Feb. 4, to RALLY FOR HEALTH CARE FOR ALL-OREGON.  What a great group we were, coming from Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove, Creswell, Veneta and more.  We sent two full buses, plus the Occupy Medical converted bus and several independent drivers.  A total participation approximating 120 - a hefty contribution to the estimated 750 - 800 total attendance.  You rallied, you sang, you mingled - and you lobbied your representatives.  And we are just beginning to fight for equality of  health care for all Oregonians, regardless of income level, for health care is a human right!

As of this writing Rep. Michael Dembrow's Health Care for All Oregon Bill HB 2922 has been introduced  In the House. Eighteen members have signed on as co-sponsors, with one sponsor from the Oregon Senate, Sen. Chip Shields, and two senate co-sponsors.  Four co-sponsors from the Oregon House are local:  Reps. Barnhart, Holvey, Hoyle and Nathanson.  Our lobbying efforts surely contributed to this support.  Give yourself a big pat on the back.  Follow on with continued contacts with your Salem representative, by e-mail, letter and personal lobbying.  We must roll up our sleeves, show muscle, and keep up the pressure on our elected representatives.

Next step:  HCAO Eugene  (Health Care for All Oregon)  will hold its next local meeting Thurs. Feb. 21, 7 p.m., at the EWEB Community Room.  We will debrief the Feb. 4 rally, meet new voices in the movement (which presently includes 61 organizations all over Oregon) and identify the next steps.  Keep up the momentum - harness the wonderful energy from that sunny Monday in Salem for the next big push toward making health care for all a reality here in Oregon.  Reserve that evening for HCAO and join us in planning our campaign for Health Care for All-Oregon.  

Here's another opportunity to come to Salem and work for our cause:  Thursday, Feb. 28, the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon will hold its Interfaith Advocacy Day.  Keynote speaker is Bruce Goldberg, MD, director of the Oregon Health Authority.  Bus or carpool transport are being arranged.  Cost is $20 per person, $10 for students, including lunch and materials.  Contact Patti Hine or Deb Mcgee ASAP for information, to register online.

We are the grassroots, we will make it happen.  Hope to see you Thurs. Feb. 21 at EWEB.

Rally-goers on the Capitol steps. Feb. 4, 2013    Photo by Ruth Duemler.

Rally-goers on the Capitol steps. Feb. 4, 2013

Photo by Ruth Duemler.