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March 6 Rally for Universal Health Care Recap


Gathering Forces  - Rally for Universal Healthcare -  March 6

By Consuelo Echeverria 

Health Care for All-Washington, Health Care Is a Human Right WA, Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action, Whole Washington, and Physicians for a National Health Program of Washington organized a rally for universal health care on the Capitol steps in Olympia. This is the first time that a wide array of organizations have come together in a call for universal health care in Washington state and it resulted in a historic turnout of over 120 people!

Speakers included Senators Kuderer, Hasegawa and representatives of labor organizations, women’s rights groups, civil rights organizations, immigrant and refugee organizations, faith communities, community health boards, healthcare professionals, and legal advocacy groups. 

Amongst the celebrations, there was real disappointment that the Senate Joint Memorial calling for a federal universal healthcare plan or the passing of Ro Khanna’s State Based Universal Health Care Act did not pass despite the solid advocacy of Senator Hasegawa. We were also deeply disappointed that the Keep Our Care Act failed to pass. We thank Senators Hasegawa and Randall for all their work. 

In this time of consolidation and privatization of our healthcare system, the regulation of private entities is essential. AG Ferguson's recent victory in the lawsuit charging Providence with the violation of the state’s charity care law shows that without oversight and regulation, these entities are driven solely by profit. The lawsuit, the largest resolution of its kind in the country, requires the Providence healthcare system to pay $157.8 million to its patients. Furthermore, a recent PNHP report found that without sufficient oversight, Medicare Advantage programs overcharge taxpayers $140 billion each year, enough to totally eliminate Medicare part B premiums for seniors and people with disabilities.

In this landscape, our diversity of voices calling for universal publicly funded healthcare is all the more urgent. 

Check out speaker highlights below!

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