Port Townsend City Council urged to push for single-payer healthcare

Posted 3/12/21

Port Townsend residents are lobbying the city council to endorse single-payer healthcare legislation that was introduced during the 2021 Legislative Session in Olympia.

Multiple residents sent …

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Port Townsend City Council urged to push for single-payer healthcare

Posted

Port Townsend residents are lobbying the city council to endorse single-payer healthcare legislation that was introduced during the 2021 Legislative Session in Olympia.

Multiple residents sent letters promoting the proposal by Senator Bob Hasegawa to city councilmembers during the public comment period at last week’s meeting.    

“I am writing to urge the city council to issue a resolution in support of SB 5204,” wrote Linda Noble. “It is time that the state took action on making health care a true priority for all its citizens. We cannot wait and hope that this might happen on a federal level.”

In her comment to council, Judy D’Amore added, “Whether you’re a small business person trying to insure your employees, or an employee seeing your healthcare payroll deductions forever rising; whether you’re self-insured or uninsured, you know [how] poorly our current employer-based, profit-driven healthcare system is working out for us.”

In her letter to council, D’Amore said the new system would cover hospitalization, doctor visits, dental, vision, mental health and also substantially reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals.

“I urge you to support single payer healthcare in Washington,” D’Amore continued.

Lori Bernstein, a member of the Jefferson County Progressives, presented a draft resolution for the consideration of the members of the city council.

Despite the inclusion of the resolution, City Manager John Mauro said it would still take some time before the city could adopt any resolution. 

“I just want to acknowledge the people that took the time to write about a state bill,” Mauro said. “It’s nice to see local and state and even federal in some way wrapped together in how we think about issues and I encourage the public to continue to do that.”

Mauro noted that there is often a lag time for city officials to endorse proposed legislation at the state level, but he could bring a resolution to councilmembers at a later date.

“For us to properly brief you … for you to be ready to make a decision on a resolution, we’d need more time,” Mauro said.

“I don’t want to disappoint those in the community who took the time to write, but for us to actually get a resolution together and to [the council] for consideration it would need … to wait until the next meeting,” he said.

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Tom Thiersch

While at the same time the Jefferson Healthcare board of directors has, with some members dissenting, repeatedly refused to endorse anything that even resembles "single payer". Go figure.

Sunday, March 14