State senator Margaret Carter and representative Tina Kotek were no shows at the quarterly Gathering of North Portland leaders on Tuesday March 3rd. Carter and Kotek continue to disgrace themselves and dishonor their constituents by refusing to engage in public conversation regarding the best health care delivery system model to resolve Oregon's moral and economic health care crisis.

On behalf of the overwhelming majority of N/NE (and Oregon) constituents that support a single payer type solution, Richard Ellmyer challenges senator Margaret Carter and representative Tina Kotek (and any other member of the Oregon legislature) to jointly face him in a public debate as soon as possible.

While our state is facing a 2 Billion dollar deficit Carter and Kotek continue to support the Billion dollar tax increase required by SB329 which is dozens of pages long and so complicated that it takes an accountant, an attorney and a seer to make sense of it. Comprehensible by ordinary citizens? Forget it.

Margaret Carter recently led the raid on the Oregon Cultural Trust money, which was a voluntary contribution not a tax or fee. She tried to justify her theft of my freely given contribution to specifically support the woefully underfunded arts in Oregon by declaring the need for, "the shared cut and shared responsibility model." What a load of crap. I did NOT contribute to the Oregon Cultural Trust to pay for senator Margaret Carter's health insurance premiums and support our current multitiered health insurance class system.

When Carter and Kotek lead their colleagues in approving the Oregon Community Health Care Bill or any other single payer type model which could reduce the cost public institutions pay for health insurance by 20% then they may regain some of their squandered credibility.

When Carter and Kotek lead their colleagues in approving a major cut to their overly generous and unsustainable taxpayer provided health insurance premiums to the level that I and many other Oregonians can barely afford to pay ($256/month) then they may regain some of their squandered credibility. Or better, to zero like more than a million Oregonians a year.

State senator Margaret Carter and representative Tina Kotek need to stop stealing from the Oregon Cultural Trust, stop protecting the despised, failed, for-profit private health insurance industry and start demonstrating the "shared responsibility model" by dramatically cutting their own salaries and particularly their excessive and unjustifiable health insurance benefits.

Richard Ellmyer


[Handout to about 50 North Portlanders attending the Gathering on March 3, 2009.]

Senator Margaret Carter and representative Tina Kotek are primary movers in the legislative attempt to quash fair, honest and democratic legislative due process consideration of the Oregon Community Health Care Bill and any other single payer type solution to Oregon's moral and economic health care crisis.

Senator Margaret Carter and representative Tina Kotek support the BILLION dollar tax increase required by SB329.

Senator Margaret Carter and representative Tina Kotek continue to ignore the fact that an overwhelming majority of Oregonians and Americans support a single payer type solution as opposed to the current model which is ferociously defended by the despised, failed, for-profit private health insurance industry.


February 8, 2009

Dear House Speaker Hunt and Senate President Courtney Et. Al.:

The current legislative debate over health care reform in our state does not include our view that the profit oriented private health insurance industry must not be the model upon which a solution to Oregon's moral and economic health care crisis should be based and that Oregon elected officials - public employees - voters and taxpayers must have EQUAL ACCESS to the SAME LEVEL of health care NOT a perpetuation of our current multitiered health insurance CLASS system.

We request that you find a place holder bill in each chamber which would substitute in its entirety the language of the Oregon Community Health Care Bill (see attached) so that an alternative choice may be discussed and debated this session. The Oregon Community Health Care Bill is the only current fully formed piece of proposed legislation which supports our vision of health care reform. We would welcome others that also meet our requirements.

Thank you for your attention.


Richard Ellmyer - Oregon Community Health Care Bill author 2007

Sam Adams - Portland City Council 2007

Jeff Cogen - Multnomah County Commissioner 2007

Edwars "Chip" Enbody - Hubbard City Council 2007

Darrell Flood - Mayor of Lafayette 2007

Bill Hall - Lincoln County Commissioner 2007

Jim Needham - Mollala City Council 2007

Michelle Ripple - Wilsonville City Council 2007

Mary Schamehorn - Mayor of Bandon 2007

Pete Sorenson - Lane County Commissioner 2007

John Frohnmayer - Former candidate for US Senate 2008

Tim Grimes - Staton City Council 2008

David P. Trott - Mayor City of Umatilla 2008

Bill Dwyer - Lane County Commissioner 2008

Dan K. Cummings - Ontario City Council President 2008

Mark Camra - Toledo City Councilor 2009

Don Porter - Mayor of Long Creek 2009

Thomas Bradley - Long Creek City Council 2009

Fred Drake - Long Creek City Council 2009

Alvin Hunt - Long Creek City Council 2009

[Copies of this letter were sent to all members of the 2009 Oregon Legislature]

Whereas every Oregonian should have the right to affordable health care,

Therefore be it resolved that the following revisions are made to the Oregon Health Plan:

1. The Oregon Health Plan shall allow state, county, regional and municipal governments as well as all public educational institutions in the state of Oregon to pay to enroll their employees.

2. Governments and Public Educational Institutions shall pay 80% of the premium paid in 2004 for an individual covered by their previous health insurance providers times the number of individuals covered for the first year of membership. The individual rate shall be determined by dividing the total amount paid for health insurance in 2004 divided by the number of individuals covered in each public entity in 2004. [Total number of employees times 2.5 shall be an acceptable default if precise numbers are unavailable.] The 80% rate shall continue until such time as a government or public educational institution formally requests an increase or decrease in the rate for that entity. A majority of paying member organizations of the Oregon Health Plan shall agree to the proposed increase or decrease before it can become the effective new rate for the requesting jurisdiction. It shall be the goal, over a period of time, to achieve equity of individual payments among all participating organizations.

3. The Oregon Health Plan shall allow any person who has been a registered voter in Oregon for at least one year to pay to become a member. 18 year olds registering for the first time are automatically accepted. All children 17 and under are automatically qualified provided they are the dependents of at least one adult in the household who is a registered member of the Oregon Health Plan. The cost to join will be determined by a sliding scale based on taxable income and number of dependent children 17 and under. 

4. The Oregon Health Plan shall allow Oregon businesses to enroll their employees provided that each employee submitted for enrollment meets the standards for individual enrollment mentioned in section 3 above.

5. The Oregon Health Plan shall not allow smokers to join. This includes government sponsored as well as individual applicants. However, the Oregon Health Plan shall respond to every Oregonian that asks for help to quit smoking. A special non-member category shall be established to support smokers who want to quit. The cost to participate in this program will be determined by a sliding scale based on taxable income. A limited list of medical procedures intended specifically to enable a patient to stop smoking shall be the only medical procedures available to Oregonians who are smokers, that is those who smoke an average of five or more cigarettes per day. Upon certification by a physician that an individual has successfully quit smoking for one year that person may apply for membership in the Oregon Health Plan. Serious penalties shall be imposed upon those who are untruthful about their smoking habits when making application to the Oregon Health Plan or at any time they are a member.

6. The legislature shall budget for 2006 a payment into the Oregon Health Plan fund of $75,000,000 plus the amount contributed in 2004. An additional $5,000,000 shall be added to this budget item each year until the amount equals the total of all payments made by participating members.

7. The legislature shall transfer into the Oregon Health Plan fund all revenues in excess of the 2% state revenue forecast thereby eliminating the so called Oregon kicker.

8. The Oregon Health Plan shall be the exclusive health plan for a) The governor and every employee in the executive branch of state government under his authority, b) Every employee of the judicial branch of state government c) Every member of the state legislature and all of their staffs.

9. Allowing for procedures specific to male and female anatomies, everyone enrolled shall have exactly the same benefits. No exceptions.

10. Payments by governments and individuals into the Oregon Health Plan shall remain in an Oregon Health Plan account which shall be the source of payments to physicians, hospitals etc. for allowable procedures.

11. Oregon Health Plan financial managers may only invest in low risk financial instruments with a prudent amount of available capital. All investments shall be made only in Oregon.

12. The Oregon Health Plan may be administered by contract with a private business or by a state government agency depending on which is deemed more likely to deliver the most cost effective high quality service to Oregonians.

13. Every two years the number of procedures covered by the Oregon Health Plan shall be reevaluated and shall include more or fewer procedures from the existing list as determined by the amount of money available in the Oregon Health Plan fund to pay for them. It is the goal of the Oregon Health Plan to annually spend on benefits what it annually receives in revenues.

14. Mental health, dental, optometrical, chiropractic and acupuncture shall be included in potential procedures of the Oregon Health Plan especially those of a preventative nature.

15. Every five years the list and rankings of procedures shall be reevaluated.

16. Every listed procedure shall have a capped price. Members may seek medical care from any licensed health care provider in the United States of America. Members who choose health care providers that charge less than the capped price for any procedure shall receive a credit toward their health plan premium valued at the difference. Members choosing health care providers charging more than the capped price must make up the difference themselves. Every bill sent to the Oregon Health Plan for payment must be signed by the member involved in the medical procedure appearing on the invoice before payment can be made.

17. Health care providers licensed by the state of Oregon shall accept Oregon Health Plan patients for approved procedures.

18. Patients that choose to participate shall have the opportunity to critique the care given by their health care providers directly into an online database. 10% of the health care providers with the highest patient satisfaction ratings per year will receive a $10,000 cash incentive bonus. A minimum number of 300 votes or 60% of a health care provider's patients will be required to qualify. 

19. No member of the Oregon Health Plan may sue a health care provider for malpractice of a procedure allowed under the Oregon Health Plan without the express approval of five members of a nine member committee established for the specific purpose of determining the legitimacy or frivolousness of the proposed legal action. That committee shall be comprised of five permanent members serving four year terms namely, two retired judges, two retired physicians and the governor. The remaining four shall be chosen at random from the Oregon legislature each quarter prior to that quarter's meeting.