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April 2019 e.Bulletin

In this e.Bulletin: Momentum! The Pathway bill is making its way through the legislature, Rep. Jayapal's Medicare for All Speak Out this Saturday!

The Senate Pathway Bill Just Passed the House Health Care Committee! Next Stop: Appropriations

Thanks to your sustained efforts, we are thrilled to announce that SB 5822, the Pathway to Universal Health Care bill, passed out of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee -- with our amendments -- by a vote of 10 in favor, and 3 opposed. Watch the powerful testimony, including testimony from HCFA-WA president Marcia Stedman (SB 5822 testimony starts at 1:28:00; Marcia's testimony begins 1:32:55). 

Not only did it move forward to Appropriations, it did so with bi-partisan support, when Rep. Paul Harris, a GOP member and Minority Caucus Chair, joined the majority to vote in favor of the bill. Rep. Harris is seeking a solution for health care affordability. and proving that access to affordable health care truly is a bi-partisan concern.

HCFA-WA has been abuzz in Olympia: meeting with legislators, testifying at hearings, and activating supporters in key legislative districts. We're very excited by the relationships we are building with legislators and our allies in the Health Care is a Human Right - WA Campaign. 

What you can do now:

1) Please take a few minutes and email the following Representatives thanking them for voting in favor of SB 5822 (several of whom also serve on Appropriations):

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

2) Leave a comment on the bill. Let your Legislators know that you support SB 5822 because Washington needs to do everything we can right now to set the table for universal health care the moment federal funds are available.

And last but not least, please consider supporting our advocacy work!

In summary, SB 5822 has Passed the Senate and the  House Health Care Committee. To be considered by the full Legislature, it needs to pass House Appropriations > House Rules > House Floor.

Rep. Jayapal's Medicare for All Speak Out this Saturday, April 6!

Please join Congresswoman Jayapal at a Speak Out this coming Saturday, 10:30 am. This is a great opportunity to share your health care story and support the fight for Medicare for All in Congress.

- Please RSVP. This will help with event planning.

- Sign-up to speak will start as soon as the doors open at 10:00. Be sure to sign in early if you wish to speak.

- To hear as many speakers as possible, speakers will be limited to a minute and a half.

- A professional videographer will be there to capture stories that will be incorporated in the Medicare for All campaign, so even if you don't get to speak at the event, you'll have the opportunity to share your story.

The Big Business of Medical Debt/ Time to Take Health Care off the Bargaining Table / How to Fight Outrageous Medical Bills

What happens when patients can't pay their health care bills? Eventually, patients are sent to debt collection and are given two choices: pay up, or go into debt. This Seattle Times article reports that Medical Debt Collection is so lucrative that there is little incentive anymore to work out payment plans with patients.

How big a business? Last year, Americans borrowed $88 Billion to pay for health care expenses, The New York Times reports.

HCFA-WA Ed Fund Board Member, Rich LaGue inspired by the Seattle Times article above, submitted this Letter to the Editor.

Be sure to read Washington State Labor Council President Larry Brown's essay Let's Take Health Care Off the Bargaining Table. Please share, especially with labor friends. 

Also, be sure to bookmark this Vox article, How to Fight an Outrageous Medical Bill, Explained.

There is so much important news to share -- including legislative updates. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Upcoming Events

Sat, Apr. 6


Congresswoman Jayapal's Medicare for All Speak Out - Seattle
(Doors open at 10 am, Program begins at 10:30 am, The Summit on Pike, 420 E Pike St)

See details above.

Tues, Apr. 9


Legislative Deadline: Fiscal Committee Cutoff  in the Opposite House - Olympia

The Pathway bill must pass out of the House Appropriations Committee.

 Wed, Apr 17


Legislative Deadline: Opposite House Cutoff - Olympia

The Pathway bill must pass out of the House.

Sun, Apr 28   Legislative Deadline: Final Day of Regular Session - Olympia


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