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Blog: Howard Dean, Earl Blumenauer event at Cascade a success

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Protesters ring the Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building on Friday, prior to a health insurance reform town hall. (Photo by Russell Banks.)


We did it. PCC hosted a town hall on health insurance reform last Friday at the Cascade Campus featuring Gov. Howard Dean and Congressman Earl Blumenauer.

Dean is the former governor of Vermont, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and 2004 candidate for president. Blumenauer is a seven-term member of the U.S. House, serving Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes most of Multnomah County and the northern part of Clackamas County.

(And not for nothing, but from 1974 to 1981 he served on the PCC Board of Directors.)

The event drew a packed, standing-room-only crowd to the Moriarty Auditorium, as well as a filled-to-the-brim overflow room in Terrell Hall, featuring a closed-circuit video feed of the town hall.

It also drew an estimated 20 protesters who attempted to disrupt the event because they favor one form of health insurance reform, and the topic of the town hall was partly that one, but mostly another type of reform.

They want to eliminate all for-profit insurance companies. That’s called the “single payer” option.

Dean and Blumenauer talked about that, plus a variation that would include the for-profits along with a government insurance option, much like Medicaid. That’s known as the “public option.”

Gov. Dean and President Obama are fans of the public option.

Anyway, the event was a hit. The two men up on stage are frighteningly smart and more than a few of their answers were well over my head.

All in all, it was a success.

After which, we organizers retired to the Galaxy Restaurant and Lounge. An aide to Congressman Blumenauer bought the first round. “No worries,” he said. “It’s the single-payer option.”

To learn more about PCC and local politics, including the Legislature, click here.

About Dana Haynes

Dana Haynes, joined PCC in 2007 as the manager of the Office of Public Affairs, directing the college's media and government relations. Haynes spent the previous 20 years as a reporter, columnist and editor for Oregon newspapers, including ... more »