by Marcia Stedman
Washington and Oregon lead the nation in developing universal state-based single-payer healthcare, and we’re collaborating!
In mid-July, 23 health justice leaders representing 14 organizations across both states gathered in Seattle and virtually to discuss the current status of our single-payer efforts and develop a vision for building on our victories. We:
- Strengthened relationships, communication, and cross-state collaboration.
- Shared information on policy, politics, and organizing.
- Agreed on a strategy for contacting our Congressional Representatives to co-sponsor the State Based Universal Health Care Act (HR 3775) – *Take action here!
At our August 9th HCFA-WA 2nd Wednesday Speaker Series, 4 leaders shared victories and lessons learned
- Sandra Coyner – Health Care for All Oregon and Health Care for All Oregon-Action
- Ronnie Shure – Health Care for All-Washington President
- Marcia Stedman – Health Care for All-Washington Communications
- Charlie Swanson - Health Care for All Oregon-Action President
In addition, Chuck Pennacchio, the President of One Payer States, joined us to motivate other states to follow our pathway through reintroduction of the State-based Universal Health Care Act (HR 3775).
WA: Health Care for All-Washington, Health Care is a Human Right Washington, League of Women Voters WA, Puget sound Advocates for Retirement Action, Physicians for a National Health Program Washington, Seattle Indivisible, Whole Washington.
OR: Health Care for All Oregon, Health Care for All Oregon-Action, Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates, Oregon Health Policy Board, Oregon Nurses for Single Payer, Physicians for a National Health Program Oregon, Business Leaders for Health Care Transformation
Paths to Success:
- Develop relationships with Legislators to find Health Care Champions.
- Use lobbyists as facilitators.
- Collaborate with other advocacy groups.
- Educate the public, Democratic organizations, unions, business.
- Writing and tracking legislation changes to ensure unwanted changes are not made, especially closer to final approval.
- Frequent meetings and solid relationships with legislators are essential.
- Not all advocates are on the same page.
- Identify appointees to the Governance Board and other Boards/Commissions.
Signs of Hope:
- The power that advocates bring
- WA: The UHCC and FTAC, Health Care Cost Transparency Board, Insulin Work Group, Prescription Drug Affordability Board, relationships with legislators
- OR: Governance Board, Constitutional amendment that guarantees access to health care, health care allies
- A proposed meeting of legislators from Washington and Oregon