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April 2020 e.Bulletin

In this month’s edition:

HCFA-WA President Marcia Stedman discusses why, with so many other pressing needs, should we continue to work toward equity in health care, and why at the state level? 

COVID-19 magnifies the problems with our rickety health system.  A myriad of responses, from removing cost sharing for testing, to scrambling to keep newly unemployed people from losing health coverage show how comprehensive healthcare reform is needed now.

It’s time for the Give Big Campaign!  HCFA- WA is on a roll! Help keep us rolling on to better healthcare for Washingtonians!

We’ve Got New and Events, too!

Message from HCFA-WA Board President Marcia Stedman

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of “the fierce urgency of now” 57 years ago at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Now, the fierce urgency brought by the coronavirus pandemic has gripped the entire world. Will the current crisis convince the United States to take action and implement a more equitable model of health care delivery? The public financing of COVID-19 testing and in some cases, treatment, offers a glimmer of hope.

But, with so many other urgent needs, why should we continue to work toward equity in health care, and why at the state level, when the national need is so great? Find out here.

Improving Healthcare Access during the Pandemic and Beyond 

COVID-19 has both created health care dilemmas unique to the pandemic, and also illuminated and exacerbated existing problems with healthcare access, affordability, and equity. Can the pandemic speed us on the path to universal health care? We believe there is a strong case to be made! With your help, HCFA-WA can add to the growing voices urgently calling for universal health care.

Our public and elected officials are recognizing the need for government action to protect people’s health and economic well being in the time of the Coronavirus. But these many stop-gap and targeted measures only highlight the urgent need for comprehensive health care transformation that, had it been in place before the pandemic, would have made all these efforts unnecessary. Health coverage not tied to employment. No one uninsured or underinsured. Everyone eligible for insurance regardless of income. No economic hardship such as co-pays or deductibles preventing people from getting tested or obtaining needed care.

Read more here for an overview of state and national efforts to remove barriers to care as a result of the pandemic.

Health Care for All Washington’s greatest fear is not that COVID-19 will drastically change our society; our fear is that it will not. 

We are working to ensure that we will not return to our old normal, and we need your help in making sure things are going to change, dramatically, for the better. HCFA-WA has been advocating for universal health care since 1994, longer than any other grassroots single-payer advocacy organization in Washington.

What We Do:
· Propose and lobby meaningful healthcare legislation
· Build coalitions and develop a thriving, statewide grassroots network, including private sector employers, organizations, and citizen allies working towards universal healthcare
· Activate supporters, enabling and empowering them to advocate for pending legislation
· Educate through public forums and seminars on health care
· Engage with the public through social media, our website, newsletters with timely articles, actionable steps, and event listings

What we’ve accomplished:

HCFA-WA is experiencing incredible success in our legislative efforts. We promoted and lobbied for the Pathway to Universal Health Care Bill, as well as the Cascade Care Bill, in 2019. In 2020, HCFA-WA created our own proposal package to contain costs of prescription drugs and address the extreme and exploitative cost of insulin. Three bills accomplishing these aims were the result!

Health Care for All Washington is now developing implementable legislation that will expand health care coverage for more Washington residents. We cannot do this alone.

100% of your contribution to HCFA-WA will be matched by one of our generous supporters.

Please give, and GIVE BIG, to Health Care for All Washington.

Pre-schedule a donation now!

In the News

Across The Country, Governors Are Taking The Lead On Coronavirus Response 
Governors to the rescue, stepping in where federal response has lacked.

How Do We Exit The Shutdown? Hire An Army Of Public Health Workers
“We have to have an abundance mentality. The amount of money that’s being lost economically, if we put just a fraction of that into our public health workforce, we could get the economy back up and running.”

The Advantages Of Comprehensive Coverage Over Limited, Stop-Gap Funding
This Health Affairs article argues that comprehensive approaches to covering the uninsured are needed in addition to stop-gap measures, such as the CARES Act enhancing hospital reimbursement for uninsured patients.  Health Affairs warns of some unintended consequences of not including comprehensive coverage for patients, including increasing unnecessary use of hospitals when community care would suffice, and prolonged inpatient stays.  “Stop-gap funds limited to particular institutions and [medical] conditions...neither achieve key public health objectives nor protect patients from financial and medical harm.”

State Medicaid agency expecting tidal wave of applicants in coming weeks
“Cover as many lives as you can for as long as you can."  This is the objective of Washington’s Apple Health (Medicaid) Director Taylor Linke, in response to the large numbers of new applicants to Apple Health.  New enrollees nearly doubled to an average of 1,037 each day of the first week of April.  

Earth Day 2020 Goes Digital
Like COVID-19, health and economic impacts of climate change will fall hardest on society’s most vulnerable. Wednesday, April 22 is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.  While we are sad that social distancing has changed the nature of the celebrations, we’re inspired by the ways organizers have adapted to digital engagement. Check out the official Earth Day website for worldwide digital events you can participate in!

Watch and listen: Ballard’s opera man lets loose from his lawn every weekday
A moment of happy, this Seattle opera performer singing from the heart, to his appreciative neighbors.  

Upcoming Events

Mon, April 20

Health Care is a Human Right - WA Monthly Meeting
7 pm via Zoom.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal will outline her action plan. Not to be missed! Click here for details and the Zoom connection link.

Wed, April 22

Universal Health Care Work Group – CANCELLED

The Universal Health Care Work Group is on hiatus until further notice, due to Coronavirus meeting restrictions.

Tues & Wed, May 5-6

GiveBIG! But you can schedule your donation now.

Did we miss an event, perhaps virtual, coming up in a month or so? Let us know ASAP and we’ll post it on Facebook!

Did you know you can help us achieve our goal — with no additional cost to you — when you shop with Amazon? If you shop at Amazon, simply use our Amazon Smile Link and Amazon will contribute to our education efforts.

 The perfect gift for every universal health care supporter, any time of year: Everybody In, and Nobody Out t-shirts, winter scarves, and umbrellas.

 Editor: Elaine Cox ★ Graphics & Communications Specialist: Sydnie Jones
★ Health News: Rich Lague  & Cris Currie  
 Spokane & Video: DW Clark   President: Marcia Stedman ★  

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