Category Archives: Uncategorized

Passing Universal Health Care Requires Votes. These Candidates Could Help Us Get There.

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This election, not only are we making a choice at the top of the ticket, but we also have the opportunity to elect candidates who will advance universal health care for Washingtonians and the nation. In 2018, Washington voters made tremendous strides in electing candidates who make fighting for health care a top priority. Let’s expand on these gains in 2020.

The HCHR 2020 Elections Subcommittee has sifted through the state and federal races and selected a few key races of most importance to healthcare based on these criteria:

  1. Does the candidate support health care as a right and state or federal legislation to move us towards universal and affordable health care?
  2. If both candidates profess to support universal health care, which one endorses the more progressive legislation (eg, Medicare for All rather than Public Option)?
  3. Is the race one whose outcome could advance the cause?
  4. Is the candidate in a tough race in which our support could make a difference? 

Based on these criteria, we think the following candidates are high-priority for health care advocates and Washingtonians. HCHR does not endorse candidates but encourages active support for these races.

Congressional:Legislative:
CD 3: Carolyn Long
CD 8:    Kim Schrier
CD 10:  Beth Doglio
LD 5, Senate:   Ingrid Anderson
LD 7, Rep. 1:  Georgia Davenport
LD 28, Senate: T’wina Nobles
LD 37, Rep. 2:  Kirsten Harris-Talley
LD 44, Rep.2:   April Berg

We encourage everyone to get involved in this election and we offer the following 2020 Election Opportunities — Forums, Texting, and Phone banks. Channel your Election  Angst into supporting candidates who will support the cause.

Pictured – Beth Doglio (CD 10, photo: Washington Wire), Carolyn Long (CD3) and Congress member Kim Schrier (CD 8).

Circling beginning in the upper left – Ingrid Anderson (LD 5), Georgia Davenport (LD 7), April Berg (LD 44), Kirsten Harris-Talley (LD 37), T’wina Nobles (LD 28):

Another tragic story from our healthcare system

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Here is a story from a mother in Spokane, written up by Dr. Michael Huntington, who heard the story directly. She was asked if she would tell her story to the Universal Health Care Work Group on September 16, but her feelings were still too raw so it was submitted this way: 

Another tragic story from our health care system.

On September 10, 2020 during informal conversation prior to a One Payer States on-line educational session I spoke with a woman who lives in Spokane Washington. She told me about her daughter who just turned 26 and is losing access to health care insurance through her parents.  She does not know how she will afford health insurance. Her modest income may disqualify her from eligibility for Medicaid.

The daughter’s roommate died in mid-August, 2020 of COVID. The roommate had been ill for several days but was very worried about the cost of medical care. She adamantly refused to be taken in for attention. She died in an apartment bedroom as the daughter administered CPR.

I am a retired radiation oncologist here in Corvallis Oregon.  Before and since I retired I have witnessed how our healthcare system discourages people from getting care when they need it. I saw patients coming in with advanced neglected cancers because they were more afraid of cost than they were of a serious illness they were sure they had. The young woman’s story above is yet one more tragic piece of evidence that all of us should have access to health care without fear of financial disaster.

Modifying the Affordable Care Act or expanding Medicaid will not be the solution. Neither of those options addresses the underlying problems of cost and complexity. A true single payer universal publicly funded health care system would adequately address these problems.

Mike Huntington MD
Secretary, One Payer States
September 13, 2020

August 25th Universal Health Care Work Group Meeting

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Washington is on the way to achieving truly universal health care, and you can help make it happen! Tune in to the Aug. 25th Public Meeting via Zoom and listen to the Work Group members discuss:

  • Three draft models of universal health care.
  • Member cost sharing and provider reimbursement.
  • The criteria they’ll use to assess the three draft models.

The Universal Health Care Work Group will continue to discuss three general healthcare models that will be analyzed and dynamically modeled by the actuaries so that variations can be considered by Work Group members:

1) Universal Health Care system with coverage managed by the state, but health care provided by private and by public providers, clinics, and hospitals as it is now. It is “Everybody In, Nobody Out” coverage. This is the model that Health Care is a Human Right-WA supports.

2) UHC system designed by the state but outsourced to private insurance companies to manage, much as Medicaid is run now. It keeps the insurance middle man in the equation.

3) The current system that strives incrementally to fill in the gaps and increases affordability for the underinsured, the uninsured, and the undocumented. It leaves us to continually scramble for ways to patch the system,  offer equitable coverage, make it affordable.

Please register to attend the meeting by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 21st.

Details, including how you can submit public comments, the Meeting Agenda, and background materials are available here.

Public comments are very important, and the Work Group wants to hear from you, especially if you live in a rural area of Washington or have experienced health care access issues due to high insurance premiums or out-of-pocket costs. The Work Group will take comments on a first-come, first-served basis, and will hear as many as time allows. If you can’t view the meeting in real time, a recording will be posted on the Universal Health Care Work Group page with a link to provide public comment through an online survey.

Just want to watch the meeting?
If you want to observe the meeting only, watch it live on TVW on Aug. 25th.

To learn more about the Work Group and its responsibilities: review the charter.

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