By Sara So
Advocates for Social Justice is pleased to announce our support for the Whole Washington universal healthcare initiative currently collecting signatures. If they obtain 300,000 signatures by July 6, the measure will appear on our ballots in November.

Sara So is co-chair of the Initiative Writing Committee and very familiar with the measure. It is modeled after existing bills that the legislature never passed. In short, it would form a state-held trust that would pay all medical, dental and vision bills for state residents. It includes a plan to preserve federal programs like Medicare until the federal government allows state administration but if they don’t, that’s OK.

Whole Washington would be supplemental insurance behind federal benefits at the same rates as non-Medicare/federal benefit recipients. The Whole Washington plan would decrease the administrative burden related to over 150 insurance plans in our state currently and remove profit-making insurance companies from the system.

Economist Dr. Gerald Friedman from UMass conducted a funding study of our state that estimates the plan would save $9 billion each year, even given increased costs of the system and covering all residents.

Whole Washington believes access to affordable healthcare is a human right and this legislation would save lives. We have petitions on the table in the foyer, as well as a bin with blanks if you would like to collect signatures in the community. We are also a drop off spot for community volunteers who have completed signatures for drop off.

Please contact Sara with any questions, sara@wholewashington.org.