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February 2024 e.Bulletin

Join our Rally for Universal Health Care on the Capitol steps in Olympia March 6th.

Hear from Health Care Champions Sen. Hasegawa and Sen. Kuderer along with leaders from women’s rights, labor, civil rights, immigrant and refugee organizations and many others!

Music, art and actions you can take.

Show your legislators that we can change our for-profit healthcare system to one that cares for your health!

RSVP here 

Got Swag?  Wear it or pick it up at the Rally.

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Urgent!  Take Action by March 1!
by Consuelo Echeverria 

With only 7 days left in the 2024 legislative session, we need to get these priority bills onto the House or Senate floor and passed! 


SJM 8006 Requesting federal government create a universal health care program

On Jan 17 the SJM passed the Senate and The Memorial is on Second Reading in the House. This call for universal health care clearly lays out that too many Washingtians are going without care and are rationing medication. We need to pass this historic legislation! 

Please contact your representative to support SJM 8006. 

Suggested script:

I strongly support SJM 8006. Please ensure this bill gets a floor vote and vote in favor of passage.

Sincerely,


SB 5241 Keep Our Care Act

On Feb. 8th this bill passed the Senate and now needs your help to pass the House. Please contact your Representatives and tell them to pass this landmark bill which ensures access to abortion, gender-affirming, emergency, and end-of-life care and controls the further consolidation of our health care market. 


SB 5213 Concerning pharmacy benefit managers.

We sent out an action alert asking HCFA-WA members to contact their representatives on the House Committee on Appropriations and it worked. Thank you very much to those who took action, because it passed the Committee! 

Now we need to push to get it to the floor. All hands to the pumps to tell your Representatives to support this legislation that regulates the hidden middleman of our healthcare system.

Now for the good news, two of our three budget provisos have been fully funded! 

  • The study to look at better ways to transition those who lose Medicaid onto HBE plans   
  • PEBB/SEBB consolidation study with changes on implementation dates beginning in 2026 and full implementation by 2027 is funded. 
  • Study on costs of raising eligibility for low-income Medicare enrollees to Medicaid has been fully funded in the House but not the Senate. 

Learn about all the bills we support in 2024.

The Universal Health Care Commission Needs a Reboot

by Marcia Stedman

In a state where a majority of voters supports a universal healthcare system, Washington is not well-served by its Universal Health Care Commission. 

At its February meeting, the Commission once again punted on its charge to design a universal health care system, a system that would alleviate the pressures caused by our current fragmented system. In addition, Work Plans are not consistently followed, meetings are still presentation-heavy, and there is insufficient time for meaningful discussions about the design of the universal plan.  

Consideration of the Whole Washington perspective was listed on the 2024 Work Plan for February but was omitted from the February Agenda, due to a ‘mistake’ by the facilitators. The Benefit Design Grid promised by the consultants in December 2023 was not provided for this February meeting. Consequently, there was no framework for the Commission’s brief discussion that was cut short as the meeting ended.  Instead, suggestions are to be emailed to the facilitators. 

The extended presentation on Administrative Simplicity, in addition to using time that could have been spent in discussion, caused the bogeyman of infeasibility to once again rear its ugly head. According to these ‘experts,’ because the U.S. healthcare system is the way it is, it is not possible for the U.S. to have a system like Canada’s single-payer system.  

Instead, we should seek business efficiencies in the health care economy, i.e., increase productivity and more fully automate back-office systems.  As a result, the follow-on discussion on ‘universal system design’ yielded comments such as “design the best system we can afford'' and design a 2-tier system with “a minimum package of essential benefits with no cost at point of service and a 2nd tier of add-ons.” Clearly, this does not meet our definition of a universal health care system, nor was it the recommendation of the Universal Health Care Work Group which recommended that a Commission such as this one be created.

At its December 2023 meeting, the UHCC voted to outsource the system design to the FTAC. Consequently, the Benefits Design and input from Whole Washington are to be discussed at their March 14th meeting.

Plan now to join this Zoom-only meeting, and consider making a public comment about the urgency of their work!

Thurs, Mar. 14 – 2-4:30 pm.  Upcoming FTAC meetings

Nearly a month after the Feb. UHCC meeting, neither the Meeting Summary nor the video has been posted to the Health Care Authority’s website.  But, you can view the video here and the Meeting Materials here.

Join us as we track the next meeting of the UHCC this on Wed., April 17, 2-5 p.m.

We encourage you to:

Subscribe to Health Care Authority (HCA) for updates.

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"We're the people who can make the changes."- Frankie Manning

By Ron Lovell

This 2WSS we celebrated the voices of two retired Black nurses in the Seattle community, Frankie Manning and Vanetta Molson-Turner, at our February 2nd Wednesday Speaker Series. They shared what inspired them to dedicate their lives to the health of our community, their experiences as nurses, and participated in a Q&A.

Frankie Manning served as a registered nurse in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Veterans Health Administration. She has held various roles within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Army, including as a nurse executive at the Seattle VA Medical Center. She went on to serve our community as a member of the King County Board of Health, the Washington State Board of Health, the Health Equity Research Community Advisory Council, and the Washington Center for Nursing. She worked to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion in each of these roles. In 2018, she was selected as one of the 100 Most Influential Nurses by the University of Washington.  In 2020, she was honored by the Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization.

Vanetta Molson-Turner was inspired by activism in the positive work of the Seattle Black Panther Party, where she participated in free breakfast programs and community development. You can review an interview with Vanetta Molson-Turner about her early work with the Panther’s Free Breakfast Program here.  She enrolled in nursing school to change our community by giving power to people to make those changes. She worked as a registered nurse for more than three decades, and she has followed that service with leadership roles in the NAACP and in Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action.

You can replay the 2nd Wednesday Speaker Series with Frankie Manning and Vanetta Molson-Turner above or click here to open in YouTube.

We celebrate these two women who rose through the repressions of racism, sexism and ageism to really make the world better with their personal contributions. They are real world examples of John Lewis’s "We need a few good troublemakers," standing up against injustice and making necessary trouble to bring about positive change.

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Sat, Mar. 2

 

Mass Assembly in Olympia by Washington Poor People's Campaign
Sylvester Park, 615 Washington St SE, Olympia, WA 98501
10:00 a.m.

RSVP & info here

Wed, Mar. 6

 

Rally for Universal Health Care!
Capitol steps, Olympia
11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

RSVP & info here

Wed, Mar. 13  

2nd Wednesday Speaker Series: Behavioral Healthcare for Youth in Washington state
with Max Lau of the Children’s Alliance
7-8:00 p.m.

RSVP here

Thur, Mar. 14

 

The Finance Technical Advisory Committee (FTAC)
2-4:30 p.m.

FTAC Upcoming meetings and materials page

Wed, Mar. 20

 

PNHP WA – California Lifetime Care Act
with William Bronston, MD
7:00 p.m.

Tues, Apr. 2

 

PSARA Webinar – Fear & Loathing on the Way to Level The Playing Field for Traditional Medicare
5-6:00 p.m.

Register Here

 

Please support our work.


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


 Editors: Consuelo Echeverria & Marcia Stedman ★
★ Graphics & Communications Specialist: Sydnie Jones 
  President: Ronnie Shure ★  

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May 2024 e.Bulletin

May 31, 2024

Kicking off a Summer of Action - Actions, Events, Meetings and more! TOP EVENT  - Happening NOW May 28-June 1:  2024 Medicare for All National Strategy Conference, Sponsored by Healthcare-NOW REGISTER HERE!  This year's theme is "Healthcare Beyond the Ballot Box," featuring presentations, interactive...

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