Friday, 14 June 2019 16:26

Washington

Written by Marcia Stedman, President, Healthcare for All Washington w/ contributions from Kathryn Lewandowsky and Georgia Davenport, Whole Washington

State-based SP organizations (state, national)

State-based SP bills: SB 5222 (Whole Washington Health Trust), HB 1104 (Washington Health Security Trust)

Information about SB 5222:

  • Sponsors: Senator Hasegawa, Keiser, Hunt.
  • It’s backed by a study by Gerald Friedman, a world-renowned healthcare economist.
  • It was reviewed and vetted by the Department of Revenue and the Employment Securities Department.
  • The previous ballot measure and the bill has been endorsed by the Washington State Democratic Party and well as Our Revolution.
  • It will save Washington residents billions That’s billions with a ‘b’.
  • It doesn’t contract with for-profit insurance companies. It’s universal healthcare.
  • It’s fully funded and has a transition phase that doesn’t rely on federal waivers.

Related legislation

Passed in Senate 2019 as a budget proviso.

This is basically a "study bill" that would bring together a variety of stakeholders to consider and possibly recommend a healthcare system that would ensure universal access to health care for all Washingtonians while also containing costs. The Work Group would include patient and community health advocates, various health care providers, health care facilities, labor and management, and health insurance carriers among others (full list of members of the work group: https://www.hca.wa.gov/assets/program/universal-health-care-workgroup-roster.pdf).

HOUSE Despite bi-partisan support in both the Health Care and Appropriations Committees, the bill was not brought to the House floor for a vote. However, funding for the Work Group including the necessary actuarial and financial studies is included in the 2020 budget, and work continues with the Governor's office to issue an additional Executive Order for the Work Group.  We will be keeping a close eye on the formation of the Work Group, as well as on the work itself.

Status and history at https://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/

Obstacles to SP in the current context

Our elected representatives who are taking huge donations from healthcare and pharmaceutical Industry.

Advantages for SP in current context

Although organizations have had bills in our state legislature for 20 years, they have never made it out of committee. SB 5822, sponsored by Healthcare for All Washington, only calls for the state to "study single payer."  It had several hearings, which has rarely happened previously.

Goals for SP movement in WA 2019-2020

Pathway Bill specifically mentions H.R. 6097, the State Based Universal Health Care Act of 2018. The SBUHC Act is critically important for ensuring the financial success of whatever universal health care plan Washington develops. In fact, one of the Pathway bill's strongest selling points with our more conservative legislators was being able to point to the Federal support offered under the SBUHC Act. This went a long way toward convincing them that the bill was worthy of their support.

Shorter-term initiatives

Urge Rep. Khanna to introduce the SBUHC Act of 2019 as soon as possible

Whole Washington is actively fundraising and getting signature pledges to run for an initiative to the Legislature in 2020 if SB-5222 remains stuck in committee.

Where can people find news about Single Payer in your state and/or join a group?*

Health Care for All-Washington https://www.healthcareforallwa.org/
Whole Washington  www.wholewashington.org
Health Care is a Human Right Washington Campaign  http://www.healthcareisarightwa.org/
PNHP Western Washington
https://www.pnhpwesternwashington.org/

Read 235 times Last modified on Tuesday, 27 August 2019 20:01
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