Posts Tagged ‘Universal Healthcare’

Health Care Access for All

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

By Mike Andrew

“Wanted to let everyone know we had a great hearing this morning for HB 1321 in the House Health Care Committee,” EOI Senior Policy Analyst and PSARA member Tatsuko Go Hollo reported in a February 20 email.

“We had wonderful testimony from a representative for the community and migrant health centers, a nurse at Harborview, a representative from the chronic care services community, and a retiree advocate (PSARA Executive Board member Ronnie Shure)…A huge THANK YOU to all that worked to find folks to testify.”

While HB 1321 did not advance to the floor of the House for a vote, effective committee testimony is a way to prepare legislators to pass a similar measure in an upcoming session.

HB 1321, with its Senate companion bill, SB 5305, was a bill “Declaring the intent for all Washingtonians to have health care coverage by 2020.” The bill aims to close loopholes in the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA or Obamacare).

Along with other organizations PSARA is deeply involved in the “Health Care is a Human Right” coalition, advocating for the passage of this important legislation, among other issues. While the ACA was certainly an advance that has reduced the number of Americans without health insurance to all-time lows, many individuals were left out and others find it hard to access coverage they’re theoretically entitled to.

Control the price of prescription drugs!

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

By Elmer Brunk, a PSARA member

The United States is missing from the list of developed nations in the world in two major areas: 1) Universal Healthcare, and 2) price controls on pharmaceutical drugs.

H.R. 1102, introduced in the U.S. House in March 2013, provides enforcement to limit the cost of drugs under the Medicare Part D insurance. This is a step in the right direction. In the U.S. Senate, Senator Jay Rockefeller will introduce the Medicare Drug Savings Act of 2013, a Senate version of the House bill. Unfortunately, neither bill addresses the present high cost of drugs to the American people.

Until Congress acts to control the prices of prescription medication, we can be pro-active in securing medications that are affordable. Frequently people on fixed and/or limited incomes have to choose monthly whether they can afford food to eat or drugs to survive. This reality is unacceptable.

Imported drugs from reputable foreign pharmaceutical suppliers are often maligned as unsafe or ineffective. There are ways to ensure the quality of foreign imports through government requirements in the country where the drugs are manufactured, or by the government through which the drugs are sold and distributed. Most of these certifications are available through online searches.

My wife was prescribed Fareston, a relatively new cancer treating medication. A one month supply (30 capsules) cost $815 at a local pharmacy. Purchasing the same drug, manufactured by the very same Pharmaceutical Company but in different packaging, the cost was 90 capsules (three months supply) for $150.00 from a Canadian source.

We can act to curb the outlandish profits being made by the pharmaceutical companies! Taking actions as individuals and working together with advocacy organizations like PSARA can give us a head start.

Elmer Brunk has offered to assist PSARA members in managing their prescription drug costs. He can be contacted at