Hello there! The e-bulletin is back after a little August vacation break.
As we go into fall, we hope you’re all making your plans to VOTE, and vote early!
In this issue
A recap and takeaways of the 5th meeting of the Universal Health Care Work Group, plus a call to action to submit your comment. Kevin Wren gives a powerful comment example grounded in his own health care story.
The Work Group is getting attention in two guest Op Eds, with perspectives from Washington physicians who assert the urgency of health care reform and anticipate that this group will identify a viable, sustainable model for state-funded and administered health care to all in our state.
Save the Date announcement for our November 15 Annual Meeting, featuring Dr. Ben Danielson of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic.
Our website has a winsome new look! Thanks to our wonderful Webmaster, Sydnie Jones for her winning, unwearied work. Well done, Sydnie!
Calls to Action include a sign-on letter calling for greater diversity in the Washington Redistricting Commission.
News and Commentary, and Upcoming Events
Universal Health Care Work Group
5 Takeaways from Meeting #5
By Marcia Stedman, HCFA-WA President
HUGE THANKS TO ALL WHO TUNED IN TO THIS MEETING!
The purpose of Meeting #5 was to hear the concerns of the Work Group members and the public in these three important areas:
- provider reimbursement
- criteria used to assess the three draft models* - (see detail below)
This meeting provided information important for the dynamic modelling and actuarial analyses to be done by the facilitators, and set the stage for future Work Group discussions. It also generated great interest among the public. In fact, the 37-member Work Group was outnumbered by the 41 individuals who registered to provide public comments. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, only 10 were able to deliver their comments during the meeting.
To everyone who watched or participated in the meeting: THANK YOU for the time you took to join the meeting, and prepare and deliver your comments! GOOD NEWS!
There is still time to submit written comments to the Work Group:
Public Comment Deadline: Friday, September 11th at 5 p.m.
HCFA-WA supports Model A* (see below) because it best addresses Access, Governance, Quality, Equity and Administrative issues in our state. The more people who support it, the more politically Feasible it becomes! We hope you’ll comment and support Model A too! There are state legislators on this Work Group and they are listening to public comments.
Check out the Comments submitted by Kevin Wren, who recently joined HCFA-WA to work on Communications and Policy.
Continue for Main Takeaways from Meeting 5
Two Op- Eds in Support of the Universal Health Care Work Group, HCFA-WA's Lynnette Vehrs Town Hall with Senator Maria Cantwell
The UHC Work Group is getting some exposure in Washington newspapers in the form of two Opinion page Editorials.
- From the Nisqually Valley News, Sept 1:
Guest Commentary: Health Care in the Age of Pandemic, Economic Chaos and Racial Disparities HCFA-WA’s Dr. Chris Covert-Bowlds and Dr. Dan Schaffer wrote about the urgency of our health care crisis laid bare by the pandemic, and that Washington has shown that when the will is there, we can find workable solutions to complex and costly problems. The UHC Work Group is doing just that in developing a state-based universal health care model.
- From the Spokesman Review, August 25: Dr. Paula Lantsberger and Dr. Reena Koshy: The storm of our lifetime has cost our livelihoods — it should not cost our lives
This Op-Ed highlighted the problem of health insurance being tied to employment and how COVID-19 left many people scrambling to keep covered when they lost their jobs UHC Work Group is charged to develop a model that covers everyone regardless of employment status . We’re very pleased to see this exposure in the Eastern part of the state where many state legislators wield considerable influence, including the Senate Majority and Minority leaders, and members on committees relevant to healthcare and finance.
Watch HCFA-WA’s Lynnette Vehrs, RN, president of Washington State Nurses Association, participate in a town hall meeting on July 30 with Senator Maria Cantwell.
The town hall was hosted by the Washington State Labor Council. Senator Cantwell spoke about legislation she supports at the national level to protect workers and the economy relative to COVID. Lynnette’s speech starts at 31:00. She talked about the problem of health coverage being tied to employment, racial inequity in healthcare and the Universal Health Care Work Group, which she is a member of.
The HCFA-WA Website Has a New Look
Check it out! We've just completed a website redesign, including an updated Donate page. Getting around the site should be easier than ever before, but please let us know if you run into any issues - we're still fine tuning!
HCFA-WA Annual Meeting Save the Date
Sunday, November 15th – 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Via Zoom
SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER: Dr. Ben Danielson, Senior Medical Director at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic
- A look back: Successes of 2020
- A look ahead: Plans for 2021
- Election of Officers and Directors
- And much more!
Stay tuned for additional details!
Everyone is welcome.
Voting privileges are reserved for active members, or those who become members prior to October 15, 2020. Renew your membership for 2021, or become a new member, today!
Universal Health Care Work Group Needs Your Story
Send your comments with your health care story in support of “Model A” to the UHC Work Group
Friday Sept 11 by 5pm is the deadline to comment. Do it here
Ballots being Mailed Out October 14! Vote Early!
Election day is November 3.
Register to Vote here. Deadline for mailed or online registration is OCTOBER 26.
King County elections officials advise that if you have not received your ballot by October 19, to call the office. They offer this handy Election Planner Page within information on where to find ballot drop boxes and how to track your ballot. Check your county election website for specific guidance outside of King County.
Elections officials advise voters to mail their ballots as early as possible. Voters can use ballot drop boxes until 8pm on November 3. But don’t wait until the last minute!
AND DON’T FORGET TO SIGN YOUR BALLOT ENVELOPE!
You will be able to confirm that your ballot was received and counted by using your county’s online ballot tracker.
For more information about voting in WA, look here.
Sign on letter for Redistricting Commission diversity
The 2020 Census means that our state will be due for redistricting in 2021. Redistricting is the process of changing boundaries of voting districts so that all districts have the same number of people and keep groups together that have minority interests in government. The objective is to ensure that everyone has equal representation in government.
The Washington Voting Justice Coalition, Washington Census Alliance, and League of Women Voters of Washington ask for signatories to their letter to state legislative leaders, advocating for an equitable, representative and transparent redistricting process in 2021, calling for more diverse representation on the Washington Redistricting Commission, as well as better language access, and more public input opportunities at redistricting meetings.
You can read and sign the letter here.
Healthcare News and Commentary
COVID-19's impact on small, rural hospitals in the West
This article describes the multiple challenges- decreased revenue, staffing, PPE shortages, inadequate and inequitable funding from the CARES act- of several Washington rural hospitals.
Black babies more likely to survive when cared for by black doctors – US study
Black newborns cared for by black doctors are twice as likely to survive than those cared for by white doctors, this study in a Florida hospital found. “Black doctors may be more attuned to social risk factors and cumulative disadvantages which can impact neonatal care” is one possible factor.
Why WA leaders aren't rushing to address state's budget shortfall
Politics, a federal election, and waiting to see what the federal aid package will deliver to our state, and more politics! Our $8.8 billion budget shortfall jeopardizes important health care legislation and existing health initiatives.
- How Foundational Moments In Medicaid's History Reinforced Rather Than Eliminated Racial Health Disparities
Wed Sept 16
Universal Health Care Work Group #6
Oct 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Northwest Health Law Advocates presents a series of webinars
Pandemic response:How do we center health equity?
Sun, Nov 15
HCFA-WA Annual Meeting via Zoom
Did we miss an event, perhaps virtual, coming up in a month or so? Let us know ASAP and we’ll post it on Facebook!
Did you know you can help us achieve our goal — with no additional cost to you — when you shop with Amazon? If you shop at Amazon, simply use our Amazon Smile Link and Amazon will contribute to our education efforts.
The perfect gift for every universal health care supporter, any time of year: Everybody In, and Nobody Out t-shirts, winter scarves, and umbrellas.
★ Editor: Elaine Cox ★ Graphics & Communications Specialist: Sydnie Jones ★
★ Health News: Rich Lague & Cris Currie ★
★ Spokane & Video: DW Clark ★ President: Marcia Stedman ★