"Post" Mortem on Fair Share Health Care

[editor's note, by Brian] - thank you Christy, a great recap that could not be said any better.

Although we had enough committed votes to pass the Fair Share health care bill in the House yesterday, the Speaker would not bring the bill to the floor.  

While that vehicle is pretty much dead for the session, it did a bunch of good things:  leveraged a highly visible public debate on the health care crisis in our state, demonstrated wide support and strong demand for action and helped push a disclosure bill (on who employs the recipients of public health insurance) through the House by a vote of 94-3.  

Ralph Thomas's article in the Seattle Times today (2/15) is a fine summary.   For the broad coalition that supported fair share, the conversation is far from over.  Read on to learn more about other health care proposals still in play, and to share your thoughts on where we go next!

House supporters used the debate on the disclosure bill to express their support for fair share legislation and their frustration that they were denied the opportunity to vote for it.   A strong corps of legislators is just as determined as we are to keep pushing the envelope on health care.

I'm sure there will be lots of discussion in the coming days and weeks about how to move fair share now:  should there be an initiative, who would fund it, how does this play out in elections etc.  

Meanwhile, we still have to get the disclosure bill passed in the Senate.  

And the Fair Share Coalition is still active, working to pass the companion bill to assist small business employees in getting affordable health insurance (passed the House, need to get it passed in the Senate).  

Then there's the budget:  opportunities there to cover more children and working adults.  

Give me half a day to catch up on some sleep and then check our website:  http://www.ImAHealthCareVoter.org for more information.

< Dwight Pelz coming to 36th to discuss Sen. Cantwell's candidacy | Comment Now on P-I Website Pre 12/16 Editorial on Fair Share! >
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Thanks for all your leadership on this Christy, and for using this forum to keep the broader public informed about the coalition's activities.  

Obviously I'm very disappointed that my representative, Speaker Chopp, played such a huge part blocking this bill.  

I really don't know how I feel about an initiative, esp. since Chopp seemed so mortified at the prospects of this bill bringing in outside money to the state to contest it.  Surely the initiative would do the same thing, not to mention costing the groups supporting this bill hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Although there is probably some truth to the theory that the public interest generated by this fight would increase democratic turnout were an initiative proposed.

Although I'm disappointed this bill didn't pass, I see a lot of positives.  I think Safeway essentially coming out in support of this bill bodes well for Fair Share's chances around the rest of the country.  I may be naive, but with Wal-Mart now lobbying to increase the minimum wage nationally, perhaps there is a chance they will become so frustrated at being compelled to pay for healthcare across the country they may wise up and advocate for universal healthcare...alright, I am naive.


by PortDork on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 10:16:22 AM PST

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Wal-Mart is the demon in this bill, but as has been pointed out by others, there are other companies that have been using our tax money the same way.

It is far past time to make the point that corporate welfare does not work, that business has a responsiblity to their employees who provide them with their billions in profit per year. It is not up to us taxpayers to pay for their employee healthcare.

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