Senator Margaret Carter is resigning her state senate seat. Representative Chip Shields has already announced his aggressive intentions to pursue the opening and representative Tina Kotek can't be far behind.

Chip Shields and Tina Kotek oppose a single payer health care solution to America's/Oregon's moral and economic health care crisis. Both Shields and Kotek denied the subject of single payer to be discussed in the legislative debate on health care reform. Chip Shields and Tina Kotek refused to introduce a single payer bill written by Kotek's constituent, even as a courtesy, that was supported by several publicly elected officials (see below). Aiding and abetting the failed, for-profit, private health insurance industry interests, Shields and Kotek supported the 650 page health care reform bill that is so monstrously complex that it assures that only the very well paid, for-profit, private health insurance industry lawyers will be able to use it to benefit their corporate interests.

The Multnomah county commission has the authority to appoint Carter's replacement. The Multnomah county commission recently joined many other Oregon groups in officially endorsing a single payer solution to America's/Oregon's moral and economic health care crisis (see below). While its resolution in support of single payer is largely symbolic the appointment of any registered Democrat who is a certified proponent of single payer would have a direct and dramatic effect. This eliminates Shields and Kotek from consideration.

Many groups supporting single payer (see below) are political activists. Like the Multnomah county commission, these organizations need to publicly support a registered Democrat who is a certified proponent of single payer for Margaret Carter's soon to be vacant senate seat.

To support a single payer solution to America's/Oregon's moral and economic health care crisis is to embrace the political policy that American/Oregon elected officials - public employees - veterans - 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.

Chip Shields and Tina Kotek support the despised, failed, for-profit health insurance industry model and its perpetuation of our current multitiered health insurance CLASS system. 

It appears that not only is president Obama not going to support a single payer solution to America's/Oregon's moral and economic health care crisis he seems on the verge of abandoning his campaign promises to include drug price negotiations and a public option. I find this unacceptable.

So far the chronic nay sayers, the ignorant and the agent provocateurs have garnered all the media attention. It's time for the single payer side to stand up and be noticed. The Multnomah county commission and those activists groups with political clout MUST stand up, put their money and the votes where their resolutions are, oppose Shields and Kotek and support a registered Democrat who is a certified proponent of single payer.

Richard Ellmyer


Send words of encouragement to these Single Payer advocates:

AFSCME District Council 75 -

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 -

American Federation of Teachers Local 5017 -

Democratic Party of Lane County -

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees -

Lane County Commission -

Multnomah County Commission -

Newly Enlightened Oregon Legislators - Michael Dembrow,

Newly Enlightened Members of Oregon's Congressional Delegation ???????

Oregon Academy of Family Physicians -

Oregon Education Association -

Oregon Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals -

Oregon Nurses Association - 

Oregon Teamsters Local 206 -

Pacific Green Party of Oregon

State Council of Machinists (IAM) -

U.S. House Republicans (13) -


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]