May 15, 2018
Initiative 1600 would establish a comprehensive state program to pay for health care services, prescriptions and medical equipment for all Washington residents. If approved, this coverage would be effective by November 2019, funded by premiums and taxes on employers, individual income and capital gains. Starting May 20, the petition to put this initiative on the November 2018 ballot and more information will be available in the Lounge for your signature. More information at: yeson1600.org, and wholewashington.org. National economist Dr. Gerald Friedman was hired to do a funding study that would enable Washington State to cover health care costs for all residents. Friedman worked with other states to study funding for health care plans to cover all state residents. He designed the health care proposal presented by Senator Bernie Sanders.
Although the better way to provide Medicare for all should happen at the federal level, it may be necessary to implement action first at the state level. In 2017-2018 Legislature, several universal health care bills were introduced. Four had public hearings: HB 1026, SB 5701, SB 5747 and SB 5957. For more information on HB1026, the Washington Health Security Trust & SB5701, The Washington Apple Care Trust contact HealthCareForAllwa.org. None of the bills were passed out of the committee of origin. The result was grass roots organization, Whole Washington, asked the Washington Secretary of State to approve this initiative (I-1600), in the works for nearly a year. I-1600 is similar to universal, single payer, legislation that has been introduced in the Washington State Legislature for many years. If sufficient signatures are gathered before the end of June, Initiative 1600 will be on the November 2018 ballot. Add your signature soon.