Not a single member of the Oregon legislature nor a single candidate for newly vacant house district 43 in Portland was willing to testify in favor of the Portland City Council Single Payer Resolution which passed today by unanimous vote. Not a doctor, nor nurse, nor labor leader nor citizen testified against this resolution. The harmony of souls in the council chamber was deliciously palpable. The fact that not a single legislator nor legislative candidate appeared did not go unnoticed.

Portland now joins Lane and Multnomah counties and a tsunami of labor unions (see below) in a direct challenge to governor Kulongoski, every member or the Oregon legislature and our congressional delegation. The city of Portland, Lane and Multnomah counties along with many nurses' groups, doctors groups, union members and an overwhelming number of citizens support a Single Payer solution to Oregon's/America's moral and economic health care crisis while Oregon's governor and declared candidates for governor - Kitzhaber and Bradbury - as well as all 90 Oregon legislators and some of our congressional delegation, continue to demonstrate their opposition to Single Payer and their coziness with the lobbyists representing the medical-industrial complex.

My Fellow Oregonians, This Conflict Has The Makings Of An Internecine Political Civil War

Which side are you on?

Richard Ellmyer Testimony - Portland City Council Single Payer Resolution 9-30-09

Support for a single payer solution is a declaration of war against the medical-industrial complex.

It is a call to arms to those who will fight to eliminate the despised, failed, for-profit, private health insurance industry.

It is a line in the sand separating those who see health care as a right not a privilege.

It is a war between those who want elected officials - public employees - voters and taxpayers to have EQUAL ACCESS to the SAME LEVEL of health care and those who want a perpetuation of our current multitiered health insurance CLASS system.

It is a war against ignorant and stupid hooligans that do not know that medicare and medicaid are single payer government run systems and that tricare, the military and veterans health care system, is socialized medicine.

It is a war against those who would deny public funding for abortions which are legal and moral medical procedures in Oregon and America.

It is a war against those who would deny public funding for end of life counseling and death with dignity procedures which are legal and moral medical procedures in our beloved state of Oregon. 

It is a declaration of war against the monstrously complex, illegitimately derived, Billion dollar health care legislation recently passed by the Oregon legislature with an inherent pledge to work for its repeal.

In order to win the single payer solution war at both the state and federal levels we must either persuade Oregon’s congressional delegation, all 90 members of the Oregon legislature and our governor to vote for a single payer solution OR we must vote all of them out of office. There is no other way.

I am seriously considering running for a house seat against representative Tina Kotek who:

Opposes a single payer solution.

Twice Refused to submit the single payer Oregon Community Health Care Bill even as a constituent courtesy to me and Sam Adams.

Denied her constituents the right to debate and discuss the merits of a single payer system in the legislative assembly and public forums held throughout Oregon.

Voted for the monstrously complex, illegitimately derived, health care legislation that increased the costs of every health insurance policy of her constituents and every Oregonian.

Intends to vote for an additional 700 million dollars in annual fees and taxes on her constituents and every Oregonian to pay for the bulk of the remainder of the BILLION dollar health insurance industry friendly bill she championed.

I encourage citizens throughout Oregon who support Single Payer to run for house and senate seats. I expect that members of the Portland city council, the Multnomah and Lane county commissions and every organization that supports Single Payer, like AFSCME, the teamsters and the OEA (see below), to endorse Single payer candidates throughout Oregon running in the May 2010 Primary and participate in Oregon Single Payer Sick Out Day.

Single Payer Medicare For All


Portland City Council Resolution For A Single Payer Health Care Solution 

Urge Congress to enact the United States National Health Care Act sponsored by 

Representative John Conyers. (Resolution) 

WHEREAS, all people deserve equal access to quality health care; and 

WHEREAS, there is a growing crisis in health care in the United States of America, 

manifested in rising health care costs, increased premiums, out-of-pocket 

spending, and decreased international business competitiveness; and 

WHEREAS, approximately one third of Oregonians lacked health insurance at some time 

in 2007-2008; and 

WHEREAS, those insured now often experience burdensome medical debt; and 

WHEREAS, half of all personal bankruptcies are due to illnesses or medical bills; and 

WHEREAS, the rising costs of insuring city employees can best be met not by limiting 

their benefits or terminating their employment, but by expanding their health 

care benefits under a national, publicly-funded health care program; and 

WHEREAS, the complex bureaucracy arising from our fragmented, for-profit, multi-payer 

system of health care financing consumes approximately 30 percent of the 

United States health care spending while Medicare has a 3 percent overhead; 


WHEREAS, United States Representative John Conyers introduced H.R. 676, the United 

States National Health Care Act, in the United States House of 

Representatives for the 111th Congress; and 

WHEREAS, this Act would provide a universal, comprehensive, single-payer system of 

high quality national health care;  

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Portland: 

1. Respectfully urges the United States Congress to enact the United States National 

Health Care Act sponsored by Representative John Conyers. 

2. Directs the City Attorney to transmit copies of this resolution to the President of the 

United States and to members of the Oregon congressional delegation accompanied 

by letters urging them to work to adopt and implement the United States National 

Health Care Act (Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act) as defined in H.R. 

676 to provide for comprehensive health care coverage for all United States 


3. Affirms that the Council of the City of Portland will use the City’s website, public 

meetings, news releases, and other forms of communication to encourage Portland 

residents to participate actively in the democratic process by informing their elected 

officials of their wishes and expectations regarding H.R. 676 and other matters of 

public concern. 

Adopted by the following on 9-30-09 

Mayor Sam Adams 

Commissioner Randy Leonard 

Commissioner Amanda Fritz 

Commissioner Nick Fish


The following groups support a Single Payer Solution to America's/Oregon's moral and economic health care crisis:


AFSCME District Council 75

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757

American Federation of Government Employees Local 2157

American Federation of Teachers Local 5017

City of Portland

Democratic Party of Lane County

Freedom Socialist Party

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees

Lane County Commission

Mad As Hell Doctors

Multnomah County Commission

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

Painters Local 10

State Council of Machinists (IAM)

Richard Ellmyer