Health Care for All-Washington
Speaker Series Zoom August 11: Tribal Sovereignty and Indian Health Care with Vicki Lowe, Executive Director of the American Indian Health Commission of Washington State
The mission of Health Care for All-WA is to achieve high quality, sustainable, affordable, publicly financed, and publicly and privately delivered health care for all Washington residents.
We have been effective. HCFA-WA was instrumental in recent years through the development of legislation, including promoting and lobbying for passage of the Pathway to Universal Health Care Bill, as well as the Cascade Care Bill, in 2019. In 2020, HCFA-WA focused on pharmaceutical measures passed in other states before creating our own proposal package to contain costs of prescription drugs and address the extreme and exploitative cost of insulin. The three bills we incubated passed with nearly unanimous support, as did three additional health reform bills we pushed. With the able assistance of our contract lobbyist, we renewed existing relationships with key legislators and reached out across the aisles of both legislative chambers to form a strong, bi-partisan foundation of support for continuing health care reforms.
Other legislation we enabled in the 2020 session included the “Total Cost of Insulin Work Group” to track the cost of pharmaceutical drugs; another establishes the “Health Care Cost Transparency Board” to annually calculate the total health care expenditures in Washington and establish a health care cost growth benchmark. HCFA-WA was successful in adding patients to the composition of these work groups and boards.
Meanwhile, from Sept. 2019 through Dec. 2020, together with our allies and the six HCFA-WA members on the 33-member Universal Health Care Work Group, we were integrally involved in its progress and outcome. The data provided by the actuaries showed that a publicly-funded and administered health plan would actually save billions of dollars annually in statewide healthcare spending. The actuarial data, the considered deliberations of the Work Group, and the hundreds of public comments in favor of publicly funded and administered health care, led the Work Group to recommend such a plan and to recommend that a Commission be established to work out the plan details. Watch our video reviewing the findings.
Who We Are
Formed in 1994, HCFA-WA is the oldest grassroots organization in Washington that is solely dedicated to bringing about publicly funded, publicly and privately delivered universal health care. Two-thirds of its Board of Directors are healthcare professionals, providing expert guidance and insight into the development of public policy; other board and committee members are longtime advocates focused on increasing equitability and access to health care.
We seek to eliminate the stark disparities in health and health care by race, ethnicity, class, gender, geography, employment, and citizenship status; and to expand and rebuild our public health system to be capable of rapid response and resiliency in the face of contagion or catastrophe.
What We Do
- Work with legislators to propose and lobby for meaningful healthcare legislation;
- Monitor ongoing legislative efforts;
- Build coalitions and develop a thriving, statewide grassroots network;
- Provide supporters with action alerts enabling and empowering them to advocate for pending legislation;
- Establish relationships with private sector employers, organizations, and citizen allies interested in healthcare legislation;
- Hold public forums and educational seminars on health care;
- Communicate our progress with the public through social media, our website, bi-weekly e-blasts, and the publication of a a monthly newsletter with timely articles, actionable steps, and event listings
Our Current Needs
We seek individuals committed to the evolution of our health care system. While we always need and welcome providers in healthcare, HCFA-WA is in need of those with backgrounds in financial analysis, budgeting, fiscal policy, legal compliance and disclosure, public relations, and communications, governance, and development.