Across the country we’re seeing examples of states leading the way through the COVID-19 crisis. The federal response has been inconsistent, misleading, and insufficient. Our healthcare system is breaking, and people are hurting and scared. We’re all profoundly concerned with two very connected questions. “Will I lose my job and my health insurance?” and “Will I catch the virus?” The answer will be yes to one or both of these for many among us. According to CNBC “The Fed’s St. Louis district in late March estimated the U.S. could see as many as 47 million people lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus-driven shutdown. Job losses of that magnitude would bring the country’s unemployment rate to about 32%, a figure higher than what was seen during the Great Depression.”
We need decisive action to put our health ahead of corporate interests. Washington State has taken strong measures to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Governor Jay Inslee and team should be commended for their care and leadership.
But it’s time to go one step further. Governor Inslee must call an emergency session to pass Senate Bill 5222, the Whole Washington Health Trust. This plan would cover the most vulnerable Washingtonians immediately. That means everyone experiencing layoffs and furloughs would have comprehensive healthcare, dental and vision included. All free at the point of service. We need real change to address the current dire situation at hand and ahead.
This legislation has been reviewed by the Department of Revenue and Employment Securities Department, and it is backed by a funding study done by world renowned economist Dr. Gerald Friedman. The Washington State Legislature should pass the bill as an emergency act due to the fact that many people are losing their healthcare as they lose their jobs. Hundreds of thousands of Washington residents didn’t have healthcare coverage before this crisis and millions of Americans have lost their insurance due to COVID19 related layoffs. In the time of a pandemic when there’s nothing more important than public health, there must be absolutely no financial barrier to seeking care. The Whole Washington plan offers that. The time to act is now.
Sign the One Payer States petition: https://onepayerstates.org/sign-our-petition/
Sign the Washington State Petition: https://wholewashington.org/sign-petition-to-governor-inslee-to-address-healthcare-during-pandemic/
Article by Georgia Davenport - Field Director, Whole Washington and One Payer States
Georgia Davenport served as the Campaign Director for Whole WA and led the 100% volunteer effort to pass universal healthcare via a ballot initiative in 2018. In 2017 she founded Whole Washington, filed the paperwork with the Secretary of State and began all the necessary steps to form a 501c4 capable of running a campaign. In late 2018 and early 2019 Georgia, along with members from the Whole Washington Initiative Writing Committee and Senator Chase, met with the Department of Revenue and the Employment Securities Department to vet I-1600 so that it could be introduced in the legislature as a fully funded and easily implementable bill. Senator Hasegawa filed the bill in January and since then Georgia has been organizing efforts to get it a hearing.
Georgia is the Field Director of One Payer States, is a Washington State Democratic Party Central Committee Member, and was the Secretary for the Washington State Progressive Caucus. She was also the Phone Bank Organizer for I-735, the initiative aimed at overturning Citizens United, which passed in 2016 by 63%. Her interest in politics comes from wanting a better future for her daughter and all the other children who need us to enact bold legislation today, to ensure they can get the healthcare they need, without using Gofundme, and so they have a planet to inherit.