Four days before ballots are due only 17% of Primary Ballots returned

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Get out the Vote!

The WA Primary always competes with our summer weather and vacations. This is the time to redouble our efforts to get out the vote for the Primary Election!

Ballot drop boxMake sure WA voters in your organizations and in your life return their ballots back by next Tuesday, August 2nd — 8 pm sharp if using a Ballot Drop Box. If mailing, confirm that mail will be picked up on August 2nd. Let’s beat the 2018 turnout!

What Does the 2022 Election Mean for Advancing Progressive Health Care Policy in WA?

2022 has seen a lot of churn in the state House, putting more races than expected in play. And though Democrats currently control the state Senate with a 28-21 majority, a net shift of four Senate seats would mean that progressive health care policy would have to be put on ice until the political climate changes.

These high-stakes races are high priority for health care advocates and Washingtonians. HCHR does not endorse candidates but encourages your consideration of the candidates’ health care positions in these races.

Bold = incumbent

✓=  voted for the bellwether bill SB 5399 establishing the Universal Health Care Commission.

✚ = completed the 2022 Health Care for All-WA  (HCFA-WA) Candidate Questionnaire. Supports universal health care

Thanks to Health Care for All – WA for providing the Candidate Questionnaire. Don’t see a candidate from your legislative district? After the Primary election, we can reach out to missing candidates advancing to the General and ask them to respond to the questionnaire.


Note: HCHR-WA does not pay for, nor endorse advertisements on our website

Today in Seattle! Rally & Picket to Fend Off Medicare Privatization

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UHC Commission Dips Toes into Discussing Near Term Steps to UHC at July Meeting

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With each Commission meeting we are seeing more engagement from Commission members. For the first time, the meeting began to address the dual goals of 1) creating a blueprint for a universal health care system for WA state and 2) recommending immediate results for Washingtonians on the way to a unified financing system. 

Here is a round up of the Commission members discussions:

Financial Technical Advisory Committee. The Commissioner Members pondered the proposal for a Financial Technical Advisory Committee (FTAC) and will take it up again at the August meeting. Commission member Bidisha Mandal, Ph.D. (WSU) suggested the FTAC should begin sooner rather than later. Dr. Karen Johnson (Office of Equity) urged the FTAC to start with the vision – the end goal – and then determine the steps that could be taken to build to that goal. Kristin Peterson (DOH) wants the workforce considered from the start. We agree! It is hard to know where the steps are heading without a vision. Nicole Gomez (Healthy WA Alliance) thought the FTAC’s duties are too much and proposed subcommittees. One overarching question:  Who will drive the overall vision of the UHC system – the Commission or the FTAC?

Short-term Steps. The HMA Consultants presented a couple of possible short-term possibilities which inspired a discussion among the Commission members. Commission members put forward ideas such as 1) aligning SEBB, PEBB, Apple Care, and ACA plans and 2) making the plans available to all levels of government (city/town/county). They also brought up electronic medical records.  One approach might be for the Commission to choose a suitable demonstration project that will help them build up the knowledge and experience to work towards a unified financing system while building the infrastructure needed.

Other Issues. The Commission members raised concerns about cost containment, including the work being done by the HCCTB, but no mention of one the biggest ways to mitigate high costs administration costs – adopting a unified financing system that removes the overhead of for-profit middle-men. 

Rep. Riccelli brought up addressing WA’s underinsured which makes up a sizable and growing number of the population – especially with the extended COVID Public Health Emergency declaration ending October 13, 2022. 

Having worked in a health care system without cost sharing, Chair Vicki Lowe (WA’s American Indian Health Commission), expressed her steadfast support for no cost sharing.

Rep. Schmick brought up political objections to immigrant health care. We hope the Commission considers that other countries have figured out it is not only more humane, but also cheaper to provide treatment than to create a gate-keeping bureaucracy that delays care until it is urgent and very expensive.

Mohamed Shidane (Somali Health Board) urged the Commission to create a patient-centered system that addresses improving health outcomes. This is really important because now any Commission member can drive us back to the patient-centered focus and we can advocate for patient input at each step of the process.

At the August 16th UHC Commission meeting, the Commission will continue discussing the Finance Technical Advisory Committee and take up the issue of narrowing the Medicaid reimbursement rate for Washingtonians.


Note: HCHR-WA does not pay for, nor endorse advertisements on our website