Where are We Going?
by Ronnie Shure, President
About 50 years ago, Marvin Gaye asked “where are we going, what’s the future showing, where are we headed, and with all that’s going on where are we getting?” During this last half century, the grassroots movement to reform our healthcare system has been asking those same questions. As we answer one question, it seems to lead to another. No one said the answers would be easy.
Many leaders have motivated us to continue the fight for universal health care, but their advice seems to provide more questions than answers. “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” “What we need are leaders who care enough, know enough, do enough, and persist enough.” “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhuman.” “America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.” “Health care must be recognized as a right, not a privilege. Every man, woman and child in our country should be able to access the health care they need regardless of their income.” “Let’s improve and expand Medicare for all Americans.” How? Where? What? When?
Since most high-income countries have some form of universal health care, why can’t we develop a plan in our country? Since spending more on health care than other countries doesn’t lead to better health outcomes, where do we go now? Many states have taken giant steps on that road, what is Washington state’s pathway to get there?
We have excellent examples to follow in the United States. Medicare has shown that social insurance can cover our elders. The Veterans Administration and the Indian Health Service have shown that national health service models are working in our country. Many states have developed programs to address health equity and guarantee health care as a human right. Washington state has several boards, commissions, and work groups that are giving us the opportunity to determine the best steps forward.
Maybe Marvin Gaye was right. Maybe he was telling each of us to participate in legislative meetings and state work groups to keep asking those questions. Watch our website to find the time and place for you to jump in and ask your questions.
PLENTY TO DO IN ‘22