On December 14th, 40 of our 42 voting coalition members attended our general meeting and voted overwhelmingly to adopt our 2023 federal and state policy agenda. The vote was unanimous in favor of our WA-state agenda and 36 in favor of our federal agenda with 4 abstentions.
At the WA State Universal Health Care Commission’s (UHCC) December 15th meeting during public comments our Organizing Committee brought forward one patient’s call for the urgent need for single-payer. Advocates also urged the Commission to include patients throughout the design process. If you could only watch one 2022 UHCC meeting this is the one!Look for the recording here.
The meeting was largely dedicated to a presentation from the Oregon Task Force members Dr. Bruce Goldberg (Chair), and Dr. John Santa, and Daniel Dietz, an OR legislature policy analyst. WA Commission members asked questions about the Oregon Task Force process and their final recommendations for a single-payer system. The OR guests stressed that the Task Force members were dedicated to their mission and focused on delivering a plan for the Oregon legislature to pursue. The Oregon Task Force members said that adopting a state single-payer system requires a Moonshot effort, and they have a legislative leader introducing a bill in 2023. It was a great moment for HCHR advocates who had worked behind the scenes to make this presentation a reality.
At the very end of the meeting, the HMA consultants quickly presented their 2023 Commission work plan. Still, they acknowledged that having heard Oregon’s presentation, they wanted to look at it again. They also presented a timeline for the November report but vowed to keep it simple and not have it dominate the every other month Commission meetings. They delayed voting on the charter for Finance Technical Advisory Committee (FTAC), but the Commissioners did vote to accept the HMA consultant’s recommendations for FTAC members without discussion. The next important meeting is January 12 – the first FTAC meeting. The deadline for submitting written comments for the Jan 12th meeting is December 29th.
Diagram: Workflow illustration from the Oregon Task Force’s Final Report.
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Here are more highlights from 2022 that we didn’t have time to share at the December HCHR General Meeting:
✅ Hosted a Voter Education and Registration Cookout in Auburn with a focus on BIPOC youth. WA CAN registered several new voters, many of them were young people. Lika Smith with Pacific Islander Health Board set up a table to distribute several different necessities to people in need of them: baby formula, diapers, face masks, hand sanitizer, and more!
✅ Helped pass WA bills lowering healthcare costs (prescription drugs, balance billing) and budget provisos creating pathways to coverage for all adult immigrants.
✅ Presented a post-legislature general meeting on What’s Next for Racial Equity and Affordability?
✅ Joined with PSARA to launch state-wide and national campaigns to halt ACO REACH and Medicare privatization, supported so far by 123 WA-state organizations and over 860 community leaders.
✅ Ten of HCHR’s WSLC-affiliated members submitted a resolution to the WSLC Convention to reaffirm support for health care as a human right and to call on the WSLC to begin a labor dialogue on how best to achieve universal health care in our state. It passed unanimously.
✅ Brought consumer voices before the Health Care Cost Transparency Board to balance the outsized influence of hospitals and other healthcare industry interests.
✅ Engaged the Universal Health Care Commission to keep them on track, true to their mission to design a public health caresystem forall Washingtonians with a unified financing system.
Note: HCHR-WA does not pay for, nor endorse advertisements on our website