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October 2019 eBulletin

In this eBulletin: Panel on Overcoming Hurdles to UHC in WA State, M4A and the GM Strike, Clinic Closure in Rural Fairfield & more!

Save the Date! HCFA-WA Annual Meeting Meeting Nov. 16th

Learn From our Panel - From Study to Reality: Getting a Single-Payer System in Washington State & Actions We Can Take

We invite you to attend this year's Health Care for All-Washington's Annual Meeting. A panel will discuss overcoming the hurdles raised in the two Washington State Institute of Public Policy reports on "Single-Payer and Universal Health Care Systems," and fill in some information that wasn't presented in the reports. This is vital information for understanding the deliberations of the Universal Health Care Work Group.

Panelists to include: Health Care is a Human Right - Washington's Co-Chair David Loud will participate in the panel and update us on what we need to do to advocate for the State-Based Universal Health Care Act expected to be introduced by Rep. Ro Khanna (CA) this year. Other panelists will discuss the economic realities of health care expenses for Washingtonians, Aaron Katz from the UW Public Health program will explain how other countries approach single-payer, a provider who has practiced in Canada and the US will speak to the experience of both systems, and Raleigh Watts, Executive Director of Country Doctor Community Health Clinics will present how Community Health Centers could play a key role in a Universal Health Care system.

Details: Horizon House, 900 University St., Seattle on Saturday, Nov. 16th, from 1 - 4 p.m and bring your questions for the panel.

RSVP and then add this meeting to your Google Calendar.

Can't attend?

With Medicare for All, GM Couldn't Threaten Works with Losing Healthcare Benefits

The General Motors (GM) strike is now its fourth week. On the second day of the strike, GM dropped health care for thousands of striking United Auto Workers. GM rescinded its cancellation of health benefits temporarily.

Who can forget that GM received a $50 billion bailout from the federal government with wage and benefits concessions from workers during the Great Recession? Now that the GM is profitable, workers are asking for some wage and benefit improvements.

This September 23rd, The Hill published an Op-Ed by the Richard Master, businessman, and Chair of Wendell Potter's group Business for Medicare for All:

Health care benefits should not be used as leverage against workers who only want to take care of their families and have their small slice of the American Dream.

Master will be speaking at the National Single-Payer convention in Portland.

The Impact of a Rural Clinic Closure in Fairfield, WA and an HCFA-WA's Member Response

The  Spokesman-Review reported the recent closure of a clinic in small rural community of Fairfield in Eastern Washington. Kaiser-Permanente acquired the clinic and then decided to move it to a more profitable location in Spokane 30 miles north, leaving Fairfield residents far from care - including residents of Palouse Country Assisted Living. The Spokesman-Review published HCFA-WA  Spokane member Cris Currie's Letter to the Editor (LTE) responding the to the Fairfield clinic closure:

This loss places additional stress on families, makes the local pharmacy less viable, puts the future of the local assisted living facility in jeopardy, eliminates important local jobs and their tax support, and generally makes a peaceful country life much less tenable.

HCFA-WA invites Senator Schoesler, Representatives Schmick and Dye from the 9th Legislative District to address this issue in Fairfield and other rural areas in the state with limited access to healthcare.  LD-9 is an important because the legislators serve in leadership capacity. Rep. Schmick also serves on the Universal Health Care Committee.

Rural HCFA-WA supporters - Send along these stories to us and write a Letter to the Editor asking legislators to engage with the community explaining how a unified financing system with negotiated rates and improved reimbursement rates could work together to keep rural health care - and Washingtonians - alive and well.

Photo: Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review

Next UHC Work Group Meets December 9th 

The second Universal Health Care Work Group meeting has been rescheduled for Monday, December 9, 2019, in Olympia. More Meeting updates here.

We need your help keeping the Work Group mindful of the urgency of the health care crisis Washingtonians are contending with. Please consider attending a meeting and providing public comment during public comment section at the meeting, and offering online public comments, which are open for several days following each meeting.

In case you missed it, read our top takeaways from the first Universal Health Care (UHC) Work Group meeting and watch the TVW recording of the meeting. Read the budget proviso and meeting materials.  

Health Care in the News

Four Key Things You Should Know about Health Care. A back to basics read about several things people are confused about in this NY Times Op Ed.

Insurance Companies and Big Pharma Are Not the Only Problem. This NY Times article discussing an anti-trust suit against Sutter Health, a large hospital system in California, shows how health care conglomerates are also addicted to the vast amount of money created by our current health care financing system, and they will be very reluctant to give it up.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal's Medicare for All Act of 2019, HR 1384, with a single-payer health care financing system, will fix this problem by making health care an asset we can rely on without worrying about the financial repercussions of our care. The bill will put hospitals on a budget and they will no longer be the source of gushers of money to be exploited.

As ever, check out our Facebook and Twitter feeds for curated health care articles.

HCFA-WA Volunteer Opportunities: Treasurer and Newsletter Editors.

Dana Iorio our stalwart HCFA-WA Treasurer for 25+ years has retired and would like to fully enjoy his retirement by handing off the Treasurer torch to a new Treasurer to serve on the Board, and possibly a Bookkeeper to work with the Treasurer. Dana remains on the Board of Directors and will help with transition. By the way, we don't expect a 25+ year commitment for this position! Please email for more info.

We're also looking for two people who like to team up to produce the Newsletter and website blog. This team works closely with our Communications Specialist Sydnie Jones who produces amazing graphics for the newsletter, website and social media. Email for more info.

Upcoming Events

Tues, Oct. 15


Fourth 2020 Democratic Primary Debate, Ohio
(5 pm Pacific)

You can watch it on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español, and the homepage and the New York Times' homepage. The debate will also be available on the CNN's apps for iOS and Android, on the CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, and Android TV.

Wed, Oct. 16

Physicians for a National Health Program - Western WA Monthly Meeting, Seattle
"The ACA, Medicare Advantage and Improved Medicare for All"
(7:30 pm, Swedish/Cherry Hill Campus, 500 17th Ave, James Tower, First Floor, Swedish Educational Conference Center, Rm C, Parking Info)

Featured presenter Andrea Witte has a knack for breaking down health justice issues for the general public. Get the low down on the plans we've been hearing on the presidential campaign trails.

You can also follow via the ZOOM platform -or-
by phone: 1 (669) 900-6833,615435069

Fri, Oct 18 - Sun, Oct 20


2019 Single-Payer Strategy Conference, Portland, OR

Advocates from other One Payer States. Healthcare-NOW and the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare will be gathering for a weekend of inspiration and strategy to win single-payer national healthcare. The focus for states will be on passing the State-Based Universal Health Act that is expected to be introduced by Rep. Ro Khanna this fall. Agenda & info here.

Sat, Nov.16


HCFA-WA Annual Meeting, Seattle
(1-4pm, Horizon House, Anderson Hall, 900 University St, Doors open at 12:30 for Registration)

See top article above for more details!

RSVP and then add this meeting to your Google Calendar.

Thurs, Nov. 21


 Health Care is a Human Right -WA General Meeting, Seattle
(6-7:30 pm, Washington State Labor Council, 321 16th Ave S)

We will hear reports on the Universal Health Care Work Group, the National Single-Payer Strategy Conference, a new initiative for racial equity in health care, and the SEIU contract bargaining with Swedish-Providence, and more.

RSVP and add this meeting to your Google Calendar.

Mon, Dec. 9


Universal Health Care Work Group Meeting #2, Olympia
(1 -5 pm, Location TBD)

There will be 15 minutes for public comment at the meeting, and online public comments opens for several days following the meeting.

Add this meeting your Google Calendar.

Mon, Jan 13


First Day of Session, Washington State Legislature, Olympia.

Regular Contributors - Editor: Kelly Powers Communications  Specialist: Sydnie Jones Health News: Rich Lague  & Cris Currie  
 Spokane & Video: DW Clark   President: Marcia Stedman ★  

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