Ed.Note: This is old news, but it contains a lot of good information.
by Ted Van Dyk
Crosscut, July 23, 2014
The Western Washington Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, which advocates for a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program, held its annual public meeting last Saturday evening at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus. The event provided a useful snapshot of things to come in healthcare politics nationally, but also here in Washington State.
The meeting, held before a nearly full house that included numerous practicing doctors and nurses, also provided its share of surprises. Here are some highlights:
There was consensus that a single-payer plan is at least several years away and that state- rather than national-level organizing efforts to institute one would bear the most fruit over the next two years.
The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) allows states, beginning in 2017, to seek exemptions from its provisions provided they present a credible alternative plan to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. The meeting’s speakers agreed that between now and 2017 lobbying efforts to enact single-payer alternatives should focus on governors and state legislators. (Such HHS approvals, Rep. Jim McDermott pointed out, would likely occur only during the administration of a President sympathetic to the idea).