Where Is Your Heart?

We rallied outside Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ headquarters in Spokane on Monday, February 13th, to demand that she stand up to her peers and protect health care. We asked her WHERE IS YOUR HEART and tried to speak with her and tell her our stories of people who NEED their health care.

We prepared special presents for her — stuffed animals, each with a name and a story attached of an actual person who needs their health care. But, she was not there to hear from her constituents.

Rep. McMorris Rodgers and other Republican leaders are pushing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would leave thousands in her district without the quality, affordable health care they deserve. #SaveTheACA

Black Lives Matter at August 8th Rally

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My name is Xochitl and I am the organizer from Washington CAN! who represents our group within the Social Security Works Washington coalition. I helped plan the birthday rally for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and was a co-emcee of the event. There were many organizations who were involved but I can only speak for ours.

It took me a while to respond publicly because it has been a difficult few days. We organized for months to bring this rally together, and I was proud to be on that stage introducing the many amazing speakers. I even had an opportunity at the beginning to link the campaign to expand Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare with our broader commitment as an organization to racial justice, combating mass incarceration, and lifting up policies that would specifically benefit people of color. It was hard for me to suddenly be the target of a disruption, even if I believe with all my heart in the ideals that those who took over the stage are fighting for.

When I realized what message the Black Lives Matter activists wanted to convey, I told people on the stage to let them speak. Some people in the 5,000 person crowd were shouting, pushing, and fighting. There were many elderly and disabled people in the crowd, including several of our members. Our main priority at that moment was the safety of all involved especially since some people in the crowd were spewing vitriol, much of it racist and sexist, towards the Black Lives Matter activists who disrupted the rally and the organizers who let them speak. In that moment, my co-workers focused on de-escalating the tension in the crowd. When the police were about to go on the stage, a co-worker ran to tell them to back down.

People in our community, including elected officials, need to push for policies that reflect the fact that Black Lives Matter. We need to challenge institutionalized racism, and fortunately, Black Lives Matter is creating a much needed space for a critical dialogue around institutionalized racism within our judicial system. The racist and sexist comments from the crowd were very ugly and revealing. Racism and sexism are pervasive, even in progressive Seattle.

Washington CAN! supports the Black Lives Matter movement and talking about the importance of earned benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare for so many people in our country, especially to people of color and women. We need to fight to protect and expand these programs. Luckily, these issues are not dichotomies – they are intertwined, just as other issues that Washington CAN! works on intersect with the Black Lives Matter movement. We need to keep up the fight on all of these fronts.

As a young woman of color, I have experienced the impact of racism and sexism, and on a personal level, understand the urgency many feel around working on these issues. I feel that same sense urgency as well.

Health care: Work remains to make coverage universal

King v Burwell

Letter to the Editor of the Seattle Times

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected yet another attack on the Affordable Care Act [“Supreme Court upholds cornerstone of Obamacare”, Page One, June 26]. The court’s decision is good news for everyone in Washington state and across the country, protecting the tax credits that now make health insurance affordable for millions.

But we should also take this lawsuit as a reminder that transforming our health care system is a project still in the making. As far as we’ve come, lots of work remains.

We must fight to protect the gains of the ACA, including taking advantage of new tools in the law designed to make sure the quality of care we receive doesn’t depend on our race, the language we speak or how much we earn.

But we must also build on those gains here in Washington to ensure we have a health care system where no one is left out and everyone can make health care decisions without fear of falling into medical debt.

I’m part of the Health Care is a Human Right campaign, a multi-year, grassroots effort to bring a truly universal health care system to Washington, and I encourage others to get involved in their communities.

Health reform is here to stay, and that’s great news for all of us. Now, let’s get to the work of realizing its full promise.

Leah Vetter, Seattle

Source: http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/health-care-work-remains-to-make-coverage-universal/

Other letters written by the Health Care Action Team include:

Peter Lucas in the Bainbridge Island Review http://www.bainbridgereview.com/opinion/letters/314348601.html

Joselito Lopez in the Kirkland Reporter http://www.kirklandreporter.com/opinion/letters/310713481.html

Tamara Crane in the Woodinville Weekly http://www.nwnews.com/index.php/local/letters-to-the-editor/11612-letters-to-the-editor-july-6-2015

 

Washington State gets less than stellar marks on women’s health report card

Report Card

Cannon House, October 14

Washington CAN joined forces with NARAL Pro-choice Washington today to announce results of the Women’s Health Report card. A press conference was held at Cannon House in Seattle to release the report that ranked and graded each state in the nation based on health coverage, access and health outcomes. In the report, put together by the Alliance for a Just Society, Washington was ranked 23rd overall and received a C+ grade. Washington can do better than mediocre!

Click here the full report for Washington State

Click here to national numbers

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