Action Alert: Reauthorize the Community Health Centers Fund Now!

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According to the Washington Association of Community Health, community & migrant health centers in Washington serve more than 1.1 million residents at over 300 clinic sites, offering primary, preventive & supportive health services.
Don’t Let Funding for CHCs Expire. We strongly urge our friends in Congress to support a long-term re-authorization of the Community Health Centers (CHCs) Fund before the funding authorization expires on September 30. We encourage you to share this Action Alert with your own organizations.

Washingtonians Count on CHCs. In Washington State, Community Health Centers serve over 1.1 million patients annually. CHCs are community-based, nonprofit health care providers that serve individuals and families in medically underserved areas or medically underserved populations. They welcome everyone who walks through the door, regardless of ability to pay, and are governed by patient-majority boards. Additionally, they provide a host of services beyond what you’d expect to find in a traditional doctor’s office, including language and transportation assistance, referrals to food and housing assistance programs, and family case management. See map of Washington CHCs below.

CHCs Rely on Federal Funding. For over 50 years, America has relied on CHCs to provide comprehensive primary care, dental, and behavioral health services to underserved communities. CHCs have relied on federal grants to do this critical work. Over 70 percent of the funding for these grants program comes from the $4 billion Community Health Center Fund, allowing CHCs to:

  • Provide care for the uninsured;
  • Establish new clinics in hard-to-reach communities;
  • Expand the scope of their services, including responding to national and regional health crises like the opioid use disorder epidemic or local measles outbreaks; and
  • Invest in services like transportation and care coordination to make a more meaningful impact in the lives of the individuals and families they serve.

Preserve this Vital Safety-Net. Long-term funding will allow CHCs to more thoroughly plan for the future, expand services for patients, and reduce the uncertainty caused by year-to-year funding renewals. Now is not the time to reduce the safety net for Americans who are struggling to survive our health care crisis.

 

CHCs Are Critical for Universal Health Care. The CHCs are the largest and most successful primary care system in the US. located in all 50 states and territories. They must be a key part of any universal health care system.

What You Can Do Now

Please take a few minutes to do any or all of the following quick actions today. We want to keep the pressure on your Members of Congress!

 

Thank them for their efforts to date. Ask them to take action as soon as possible to extend health center mandatory funding before the September 30th deadline — as much funding as possible (room for growth) for as long as possible (stability).

1. Email Your MOCs
2. Tweet Your Senator
3. Tweet Your Representative

Thanks to the National Association of Community Health Centers for this Action Alert.

Ferndale Murder-Suicide Exemplifies Why Americans Need Expanded and Improved Medicare for All

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The Seattle Times published David McLanahan’s Letter to the Editor (LTE) last weekend in response to the tragic news about the apparent murder-suicide of an elderly couple in Ferndale, WA who could no longer afford their medical expenses. David represents Physicians for a National Plan-WW (PNHP-WW) on the HCHR-WA Steering Committee.

Dashing off a letter to the editor in response to a news story is an effective way to highlight that single-payer is the cure to our health care crisis to a wider audience. New to writing LTEs? Check out this guide from the League of Women Voters.

A cure for our dysfunctional health-care system

By Letters editor
The Seattle Times

Re: “Murder-suicide is suspected in pair’s deaths” [Aug. 11, B7]:

The news of the elderly couple’s death is another in the litany of tragedies inflicted upon American families by our dysfunctional health-care system.

As the article points out, current Medicare and Medicaid cover only 65% of medical expenses. As well as bearing the discomfort of illness, elderly people face deductibles, co-pays, high-cost medications, other out-of-pocket expenses and oppressive insurance paperwork. They often face the prospect of going bankrupt, losing their life savings, if any, and the prospect of asking family members and friends to help out. We all can understand this couple’s resolution.

The tragic decision facing this family would likely have been averted if they were covered by Improved Medicare for All, such as embodied in Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s H.R. 1384. This legislation would enable all of us to receive the health care we need from birth without any financial worries.

It’s time for all of our representatives — national, state, and local — to follow the lead of their constituents to join us in supporting justice in health care.

David McLanahan, M.D., Seattle

Link to HR 1384 explainer added for your reference.

Rally for People Over Pharma Profits

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Join Us Aug 20th for the National Day of Action

Fight for Lower Drug Prices NOW!


Tuesday, August 20th at Noon
Seattle Press Conference and Rally
Jackson Federal Building, 2nd Ave Plaza
915 2nd Avenue, Seattle
Please spread the word!

Drug corporations and their powerful Pharma lobbyists continue to stand in the way of our health and economic security by dramatically jacking up prices to boost profits, forcing people to make stark choices between medicine and other basic necessities.

Every day we learn about people who are dying because they cannot afford life saving medicines and so they ration what they have, go into debt, forgo medication, or try to use alternatives that do not help or are even harmful. People are having to choose between basic necessities like housing and food, and the medicine they need to live. Many are helpless as they watch loved ones suffer without the medicine they need to get better.

President Trump promised to lower drug costs but, at the same time, he is pandering to Big Pharma with a trade deal that locks in high drug costs for the next decade in the NAFTA 2.0 (USMCA).

It’s time to fix this broken system. That’s why on August 20, Health Care is a Human Right – WA joins organizations, advocates, and patients coming together to demand that lawmakers take serious action to lower drug prices so that people everywhere can finally get the affordable medicines they need.

In Washington State, we’re fortunate to have Senators and Congressional representatives who want to see lower drug prices. Sens. Murray and Cantwell, and Reps. Jayapal, Smith, and Schrier have been invited to speak.

Co-sponsors include: 350 Seattle, Health Care for All – WA, Health Care is a Human Right, Occupy Bellingham, Physicians for a National Health Program – Western WA, Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action, Washington CAN!, Washington Fair Trade Coalition, Washington State Alliance for Retired Americans, Washington State Labor Council.

Action Alert: Your help needed to protect health civil rights, reproductive health care, and the ACA

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Our friends at the Northwest Health Law Advocates (NoHLA) have alerted us to an urgent action needed. The Trump administration intends to roll back anti-discrimination protections in the ACA. These rollbacks would cause harm to people who need access to language services, people who need abortion services or who have had an abortion in the past, and transgender, non-conforming, and LGBTQ+ people.


TAKE ACTION by Tuesday, Aug 13th: 

Submit your comment to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services on the proposed civil rights rollback by August 13, 2019. 

Read NoHLA’s blog post to find out more about the proposed changes. The post also includes resources to help you write comments, which can be simple, focused on one issue, or comprehensive.


Compare National Medicare for All Plans Using This Tool

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Stumped by all the health care plans out there? The Kaiser Family Foundation whipped up this comprehensive site you can use to compare the various national Medicare for All and Public Plan proposals.

Below is the side-by-side comparison from the website.

Enjoy!

We’re all in this together: Grocery workers in contract bargaining, need community support

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Grocery workers across Western Washington, organized in United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21 and Teamsters Local 38, have been in tough bargaining since March with Safeway, Albertsons, QFC and Fred Meyer. Community support is critical. The workers are asking for improvements in safety, training, staffing, scheduling and wages. Go to UFCW21.ORG and sign the pledge of support. You will be notified of important developments and actions.

Show your support for grocery workers with reusable grocery bags.
Photo: UFCW21.org website

Join us! Saturday, August 3rd Rally to Expand Social Security and Win Medicare for All

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40 community and labor organizations are sponsoring this event.