The mission of HCFA-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. This year, 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.
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 Plans
The Covid-19 Crisis is a deafening wake-up call to the inadequacy of both our public health infrastructure, and our current health care delivery system. With its dependence on employer-sponsored health care delivered in a profit-seeking environment, nearly half a million Washingtonians have lost health insurance in just six weeks. Due to the tremendous deductibles on their health insurance policies, people who did have insurance were wary of the initial cost of the test, and terrified of the burden of treatment.
Together with our allies, and the six HCFA-WA members we successfully promoted for the 33-member Work Group, we are integrally involved in the progress and hoped-for outcomes of this important Work Group. It is vitally important that the Work Group continues to meet and carry out its mandate to “consider recommendations on how to create, implement, maintain, and fund a universal health care system that may include publicly-funded, publicly-administered, and publicly and privately delivered health care.” HCFA-WA continues to monitor the Work Group, and we look forward to their report later this year.
The legislation we enabled in the 2020 session includes 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.
We are now evaluating a range of proposals for the 2021 Legislative Session that will bring additional health care relief to residents now, while laying the groundwork for a publicly-funded, privately-delivered health care system in our state.
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.
HCFA-WA is sustained by thousands of grass-roots supporters. Through education, advocacy, coalition building, and field organizing, we continue to build on this groundwork with our organizational allies, including the “Health Care as a Human Right Campaign”, allies in medicine such as the Western Washington Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Care Program, the national organization of single-payer universal health care advocates known as One Payer States, law advocates, Labor groups, business associations, educational and research institutions and individuals, veterans, senior and retiree societies, and more.
In order to reach our goals, and ultimately attain single-payer healthcare in WA State, we need the support of the community. With your support we can:
- Produce surveys and apply the data to legislative efforts
- Hire field organizers
- Establish voter outreach and education programs
- Develop educational materials for volunteer training sessions
- Create marketing materials
… and much, much more! Thank you for your support!
The coming years will bring tremendous opportunity to move our state and country towards a healthier and more equitable future. Be a part of the organization that is propelling this progress. Join Health Care for All Washington!