April 17th, 2012
By Pete Shaw, Portland Occupier
“When’s the last time you had burgers and beer with your health insurance company?”
Morgan Butler, just finishing his afternoon workout at the gym, asks me that question while nursing some drink whose primary component appears to be cranberry juice. He’s not eating a hamburger, but even had he asked me when was the last time I had salads and spritzers with my health insurance company, the answer would be the same: never. Butler is the Member Services Community Organizer for the Patient/Physician Cooperative (PPC) of Portland. In insurance speak, this would be an agent.
But the PPC is not an insurance company, and Butler is not an agent. PPC is a non-profit cooperative currently set up to provide members with direct access to basic health needs. It was founded in Texas about seven years ago, and the Portland permutation has existed for 8 months, already gathering more than 120 members and over 40 providers.
“My message is simple,” says Butler. “We got cheap healthcare. You want some?” … ”