Oregon Fair Trade Campaign was among the groups supportive of Medicare-for-All that came together for a rally staged outside Rep. Kurt Schrader’s Oregon City office in early September when the congressman found himself targeted for his stances on healthcare issues. As far as Congress’s approval or rejection of the new NAFTA, Schrader’s failure to make a sticking point (as we do… as many Democrats do…) of its giveaways to Big Pharma warrants outcry. As does his resistance to joining the growing support in the House for Medicare-for-All.
According to data at the Center for Responsive Politics, Blue Shield/Blue Cross and Pfizer both rank among Schrader’s top 5 donors over the course of his political career. This fact combined with the voting record shows anyone who Congressman Schrader listens to —and it’s not patients, consumers, nurses, and other working people.
Several speakers at the September 6 rally were there to share their healthcare stories — stories of hardship from lack of quality, universal healthcare and high meds costs — with the crowd of about 60 that turned out. Then Russell Lum addressed the crowd to speak to the strategy Oregon Fair Trade is implementing to win a comprehensive replacement to NAFTA (or, no new NAFTA at all), as well as the need for our health justice priorities to be applied across the board, from a health insurance bill to a trade agreement.
The event was a collaboration of Health Care for All Oregon, Indivisible Clackamas, Portland Democratic Socialists of America, National Nurses United, and Oregon Fair Trade. Mark Gamba — Milwaukie mayor and Rep. Schrader’s primary challenger — came by unannounced and also took a turn with the megaphone to demand improved health-policy priorities.