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May 2023 e.Bulletin

May brought not only spring flowers, it also brought the third meeting of Universal Health Care Committee's Finance Technical Advisory Committee! 

We also had the pleasure of learning about My Health My Data! And why “Washingtonians deserve the right to decide who shares and sells their health data." - Attorney General Bob Ferguson

We are thrilled to co-sponsor both the Spokane and Seattle premieres on June 22 of American Hospitals: Healing a Broken System, looking at how our healthcare system got here and what we can do to fix it. 

Register for Spokane
Register for Seattle

Alliance for Equitable Healthcare, a grassroots group in Kitsap County affiliated with Save Secular Healthcare WA, will premiere American Hospitals: Healing a Broken System on June 10 in Bremerton.

Register for Bremerton

The short and sweet of the May Finance Technical Advisory Committee (FTAC) meeting: it was not all flowers 

By Consuelo Echeverria 

The take-home for this meeting is keep the public comments coming to ensure that we support the members as well as make single payer a reality in Washington State. 

  1.     Timeline

Currently ERISA is on the agenda for the next five months. Employer-sponsored benefits are largely governed by federal law through the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). ERISA supplies some rules that private employer-sponsored plans must follow. Most notably, ERISA preempts state regulation that “relates to” private employer-sponsored benefits. 

However a solution has already been suggested in The Oregon Task Force on Universal Health Care’s Final Report and Executive Summary – September 2022  which suggests employers’ payroll tax be keyed to percentage of wages paid and not to the employer’s benefits expenditures to avoid an ERISA preemption. (McCuskey & Brown, Appendix A) Considering the strategies outlined by McCuskey and Brown, it should not take almost a half a year to discuss. To learn more read ERISA and State Single-Payer Healthcare: A Primer.

Action Item: Public comments should emphasize that the next five months would be better spent focusing on adapting a single payer model like the Washington Health Security Trust along with implementing Roger Gantz’s suggestions that Washington showcase the state’s capacity to implement a universal health care system by purchasing PEBB and SEBB benefits together.

Read the full blog here.

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“Washingtonians deserve the right to decide who shares and sells their health data, and the freedom to demand that corporations delete their sensitive health data — and will now have these protections.” - Attorney General Bob Ferguson

What is Washington’s new “My Health, My Data” Law (HB 1155), and why do we need it?

By Marcia Stedman

These questions and more were answered by HCFA-WA’s May speaker Jon Pincus in his presentation titled “My Health, My Data, and the Future of Privacy.”

A software engineer, strategist and activist focusing on the intersection of software engineering, justice, and equity, Jon is the founder of The Nexus of Privacy and has written extensively about privacy activism for over a dozen years. Following are four main takeaways on data privacy in general and HB 1155 in particular, addressing the collection, sharing, and selling of consumer health data.  

  • This law extends HIPAA-like protections against disclosure of sensitive health information without the consent of the patient to consumer health data collected outside of health care settings, including data stored in texts, emails, location devices, web searches, license plate readers and health tracking apps.  It gives individuals the right to see the data being held on them, to request deletion, to sue companies that share or sell their data without permission, and to receive compensation for harm caused. And it makes data sharing an opt-in rather than opt-out choice for consumers.
  • It is a response to the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs decision that took away the constitutional right to abortion and led some states, including Idaho and Texas, to criminalize this care, and even empower bounty hunters and vigilantes to target individuals who seek or assist others to seek such care.  Those individuals as well as Washingtonians will now be protected from being targeted for this care or any other health condition that may be captured and stored in data files.
  • However, the law doesn’t take effect until March 31, 2024, and does not apply to employment data or data collected by government agencies, so it will be important to
    • Educate people on how to protect themselves today
    • Prepare for the 2024 Legislative Session
      • Strengthen and broaden
      • Defend against attempts to weaken
      • Continue to build coalition, such as that of the reproductive justice organizations that led the strong support for this bill
  • Beyond the immediate need for this protection, strong data privacy regulation will also be crucial to the success of Washington’s universal health care system now being developed by the Universal Health Care Commission.

View the complete presentation on our YouTube channel

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As a follow up on data privacy, here are some articles that are well worth the read. 

A watered-down substitute advances: Washington privacy legislation update, February 6

You agreed to what? Doctor check-in software harvests your health data.

Data Brokers Are Selling Long Lists of People With Depression and Anxiety

Corporate Giants Buy Up Primary Care Practices at Rapid Pace

Reed Abelson - NYT - May 8, 2023

Transcript

Also reprinted in the May 10th Seattle Times

The United States Is Crime Sick. Health Care Is the Cure.

Transcript 

Eric Reinhart - New Republic - Dec. 12, 2022

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Tell Congress: Pass Medicare for All Act now! 

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Sun, Jun. 4

 

Faith Action Network: Spring Summit on Zoom
3-5:00 p.m.


Mon. Jun. 5
 

Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action: Pulling Back the Curtain: Lies, Fraud, and Naked Profiteering in Medicare Privatization Schemes
5:00 p.m.
Wendell 
Potter - webinar 
Register here

Tues, Jun. 6

 

Health Care Cost Transparency Board Advisory Committee on Data Issues on Zoom
2-4:00 p.m.

Tues, Jun. 6

 

Health Care Cost Transparency Board Advisory Committee on Health Care Providers and Clinics on Zoom
2-4:00 p.m.

Sat, Jun. 10

 

American Hospitals: Healing a Broken System free screening in Bremerton
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Details and registration

Tue, Jun. 13

 

Universal Health Care Commission on Zoom
2-4:00 p.m.

Fri, Jun. 16

 

One Payer States monthly meeting on Zoom
9:00 a.m.

Wed, Jun. 21

 

Health Care Cost Transparency Board on Zoom
2-4:00 p.m.

Wed, Jun. 21

 

Physicians for a National Health Program monthly meeting on Zoom
7:00 p.m.

Thu, Jun. 22

 

American Hospitals: Healing a Broken System

We are thrilled to co-sponsor the Seattle and Spokane premieres of American Hospitals: Healing a Broken System, looking at how our health care system got here and what we can do to fix it. Join us for the FREE screening and panel discussion.

SEATTLE
Register here!
5:30-7:30 p.m. (doors at 5:00 p.m.)
Seattle Public Library, Microsoft Auditorium
1000 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

SPOKANE
Register here!
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Downtown Spokane Public Library, 3rd Floor
906 W Main Ave
Spokane, WA 99201

Wed, Jun. 28

 

Health Care Cost Transparency Board Advisory Committee on Primary Care on Zoom
2-4:00 p.m.

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 & Elaine Cox 
★ Graphics & Communications Specialist: Sydnie Jones 
  President: Ronnie Shure ★  

Health Care for All-WA
http://www.healthcareforallwa.org/

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