Let’s Take Health Care Off the Bargaining Table

Unions do not serve their members well by trying to circle the wagons around an unsustainable model of employment-based health care. That is why the AFL-CIO, the Washington State Labor Council, and dozens of unions have called for a social insurance model like Medicare for All.  The time has come to take health care off the bargaining table by making it a right for all Americans.

- Larry Brown, President of the Washington State Labor Council

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2SSB5822 Pathway to Universal Healthcare Voted out of Senate!

On Thursday March 14, 2SSB5822 The Pathway to Universal Healthcare went to the Senate for debate and vote - and passed 28-21! You can watch the debate and vote here.

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Action Alert: Urge Rep. Cody to Support SB 5822, the Pathway Bill

codyemail3.pngGood news! The Senate version of the Pathway to Universal Health Care bill, SB 5822, is progressing through the Senate and if all goes well, it may go to the House. The first stop would be the Healthcare & Wellness Committee, and we need your help getting a jump on building support for the bill in the House.

The most important thing we can do right now for universal health care is to encourage Representative Eileen Cody to support the Senate version of the Pathway to Universal Health Care bill.

Rep. Cody would not allow a hearing on the House version of the bill, so she will need some Kind, but Firm pressure from us.

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North Seattle Progressives Universal Health Care Panel

At the March 3, 2019 North Seattle Progressives universal health care panel, 50 attendees heard Marcia Stedman of Health Care for All-Washington (HCFA-WA) and Health Care is a Human Right-Washington (HCHR-WA), Kathleen Randall of Physicians for a National Health Program - Western Washington (PNHP-WW), and Georgia Davenport of Whole Washington speak on comprehensive healthcare reform. Attendees represented a collaboration among supporters and members of four organizations: PNHP-WW, HCFA-WA, HCHR-WA, and Whole Washington. Also celebrated was the North Seattle Progressives' decision to join the Health Care is a Human Right-Washington Campaign.

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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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