On the Road to Universal Health Care
by Marcia Stedman, HCFA-WA President
Thanks to the strong work of HCFA-WA leadership, our advocacy allies, and our Health Care Champions in the legislature, Washington’s first permanent Universal Health Care Commission (UHCC) is now being formed. We lobbied hard for the passage of this bill in 2021 and for our amendments to the Pathway to Universal Health Care bill in 2019 that broadened and strengthened the voices on the Universal Health Care Work Group (UHCWG) and made this progress possible. We are gratified that our 25+ years advocating for a body such as the UHCC have succeeded! Soon the Commission will begin developing a universal health care system with a unified financing system that will make comprehensive, affordable and equitable healthcare accessible to all Washingtonians. We look forward to having a voice on the Commission, whether by direct participation or by providing comments during the open public meetings. Watch for news of the meetings on our website or by signing up for our email list!
Throughout 2021, we went “on the road” with our 2nd Wednesday Speaker Series. The virtual format made state-wide participation easy as we heard from state and national experts on a variety of topics: the UHCWG findings, why the cost of American healthcare is so high, how racism creates health inequities, the 2021 Legislative Health Care Victories, how the Indian Health System works, and how WA is lowering the price of prescription drugs and solving our mental health crisis. If you missed any of these events, or want to watch again, check them out here!
SAVE THE DATE: In November, our “2nd Wednesday” program moves to the 2nd Saturday, Nov. 13th, from 2-4 p.m. with Stephen Kemble, MD, speaking on "Insurance Industry Trojan Horses: What’s Wrong with HMOs, ACOs, DCEs, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid Managed Care?”
Dr. Kemble has a longstanding interest in health care reform. He has been appointed to the Hawaii Health Authority, charged with overall health planning for the State of Hawaii and with designing a universal health care system covering everyone in the State. His experience with Hawaii’s system can inform Washington’s efforts. A healthcare financing expert, Steve is also a clear and engaging speaker.
Please plan now to join us for an exciting review of our 2021 successes, a look ahead at our plans for 2022, and opportunities to support our ongoing work. The brief business meeting will include votes on our proposed 2022 Budget and the election of Directors and Officers for the coming year. If you’re new to us, please join by donating by Oct. 29th so you can vote on these important issues. We look forward to seeing you on Nov. 13th. As always, thank you for your continued support!