Video - SB5822 Pathway to Universal Health Care Hearing!

Couldn't make it to the Health and Long Term Care Committee meeting for Senate Bill 5822's hearing? Watch it here!

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Senator Randall on SB 5822 the Pathway to Universal Health Care

 We thank Senator Emily Randall, LD 26, for championing Universal Health Care for Washingtonians her very first month in office!

"We can't afford to wait around -- we need to start preparing now, and that's
what we're going to be doing come Monday."  ~ Sen. Emily Randall

Senator Randall, We've got your back! Let's pack the hearing this Presidents Day Monday, Feb 18, 2019, 8 am.

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The Pathway to Universal Health Care Bill (HB 1877/SB 5822)

UPDATE - The Pathway Bill Passed Out of Appropriations and is in Rules

The bill is unlikely to pass the House at this point, so we are pursuing all available avenues for making the elements of the Pathway to Universal Health Care bill, SB 5822, a reality in whatever form it takes. The legislators are still duking it out, so we need to continue to pressure the House and now the Executive branch as well. Our best option now is a budget proviso and/or an Executive Order from the Governor. Please go here for our latest Action Alert.

The Pathway to Universal Health Care bill would set the table for universal health care while we await Congressional passage of the State-Based Universal Health Care Act, hopefully as soon as 2021. Here's the lowdown on the bill:

  SSB 5822, is prime sponsored by Senator Emily Randall (26th LD)

HB 1877, the companion bill, is prime sponsored by Representative Nicole Macri (43rd LD)

• It would set up a Work Group within the Health Care Authority to make recommendations for publicly funded, privately delivered health care for all Washington state residents.

• It would, in the meantime, evaluate efforts to improve coverage and access while ensuring a just transition and exploring multi-state collaboration.

We are lobbying for two amendments: 1) to include the phrase "publicly administered," and 2) to require that the Work Group include health care advocates.

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Rep. Macri's Speech on SB5822 at the 2018 HCFA-WA Annual Meeting

At our Annual Meeting in November 2018. Rep. Nicole Macri talked about her upcoming legislation - then referred to as the Bridge to Single Payer bill, ultimately SB 5822: A Pathway to Universal Healthcare. Watch the speech here.

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HCFA-WA's Positions on Key Health Care Bills in the 2019 Legislature

January has been an exciting month for Universal Health Care bills in the Washington state legislature, but things seem to be settling down and we're able to report our positions on key 2019 legislation that sets us up for Universal Health Care once the State-Based Universal Health Care Act (SBUHC Act) is passed.

It is gratifying that we're seeing the fruits of the conversations with the legislators during and after the "Winning Universal Health Care: Federal, State, & Local Action"  forum January 26, 2019.

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Health Care Profiteers' Greed Revealed at HB 1523 Hearing

Check out last week's hearing on House Bill 1523, the 'Cascade Care' bill endorsed by Governor Inslee. It has been referred to as a public option, but it is decidedly not.

It is a well-meaning attempt to offer immediate help to people priced out of private insurance plans on the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. However, instead of a public option, the bill requires private insurance companies to offer for-profit insurance plans with standard benefits while keeping costs down by controlling the reimbursement rate.

The private insurance companies piled on at the hearing to bemoan the proposal. It's an eye-opening display of greed.

What you can do: HB 1523 is under active consideration by the House Health & Wellness Committee. Please submit any comments you may have before the committee meets Friday, February 8 at 8:00 am.

Go here to learn how to contact the House Health Care Committee members.

Go here to email your legislators, or call the Legislative Hotline: 1-800-562-6000.

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Letter to the Editor: Our health-care system is failing Americans

Letters to the Editor are an important advocacy tool. They are quick to write and are one of the most widely read sections in the newspaper. Many politicians and government agencies routinely clip and circulate letters to the editor as indicators of what is important to their constituents.

Below is a letter to the Seattle Times published February 1, 2019, urging Americans to go beyond stopgap measures. We hope it inspires you to write a letter to the editor to your local paper.

Updated February 16th with a letter that was submitted, but not published. Ken is on a roll!

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Universal Healthcare Forum January 2019

On January 26, universal healthcare advocates attended a public forum featuring Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, Representative Nicole Macri, State Senators David Frockt, Joe Nguyen, & Bob Hasegawa. 







Photo by Maria Kearney. More photos here.

You can watch the entire forum below.

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Is Government Work Good Enough for Single-Payer?

In this blog, former RN and longtime HCFA-WA supporter Cris Currie addresses a common concern. Once upon a time, from the 1930s through most of the 1960s, the phrase “good enough for government work” was meant as a compliment for a job really well done. Its meaning is much different today, and far too many potential supporters of Medicare for All have no confidence in government work and do not want the government to be involved in their healthcare. How should single-payer activists respond to this concern? 

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HCFA-WA Response to Governor Inslee's Announcement

There are several state healthcare bills in the hopper for the 2019 legislature to consider — including the Cascade Care bill Governor Inslee announced this week. We are steadfast in supporting much-needed temporary relief from the high cost of insurance and healthcare, but it must be a bridge to a sustainable, publicly administered and funded system.

That it has received early press coverage means that we need to continue to advocate for true health care reform: HR 676 at the Federal level and WHST-like plans for Washington state. Keep up the noise for a true singlepayer system!

Watch for periodic action alerts and updates from HCFA-WA as the Legislative Session unfolds.

For information on the Cascade Care bill, we recommend this article from The Stranger.