Physicians for a National Health Program - Western Washington

Coming Events :

November 16th - PNHPWW Monthly Meeting
Swedish Medical Center/Cherry Hill Campus
Auditorium, 7:00pm (directions)

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State Organizations
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Health Care is a Human Right - Washington
Vermont Workers Center
-Health Care for All Oregon
-Health Care is a Human Right - Maryland
Maine People's Alliance

Organizations advocating for
single payer, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All in Western Washington

-Health Care for All -WA
-United for Single Payer
-WA - Progressive Democrats of America
-Wash State Progressive Caucus
-United for National HealthCare - Bellingham
-Socialist Alternative
-Healthy Washington Coalition
-Washington Community Action Network
-Backbone Campaign

Health Care is a Human Right -

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2015 Legislation - HB1321 - 31 sponsors; SB5305 - 17 sponsors
"Intent to cover all Washington residents"





It's Time to Add Your Voice

Since 1987, Physicians for a National Health Program has advocated for reform in the U.S. health care system. A large part of our work involves educating health professionals, and others, about the benefits of a single-payer system - including fewer administrative costs and providing comprehensive health insurance for all residents of the United States.

  Latest News


PNHPWW November 16th Monthly Meeting

South East Confrerence Center, Room B, Swedish Medical Center, Cherry Hill Campus, 7:30 - 9:00pm (directions)

This meeting will occur a week after the national, state and local elections. We will have a general disussion on the election's implications for health care reform as well as other social justice issues.

PNHPWW October 19th Monthly Meeting

For our PNHPWW October 19th Monthly Meeting we screened the first Seattle showing of "Now is the Time: Healthcare for Everybody." This film is the follow-up to Laurie Simons and Terry Sterrenberg's previous documentary, The Healthcare Movie (2011). Their new feature film has the goal of influencing the results of national and state level efforts to bring Single Payer healthcare to America!

"We've now seen enough to know that insurance-based healthcare is not effective for keeping costs down and giving everyone access to needed medical care. Advocates are totally committed to changing the healthcare system, and polls indicate that the general public supports the idea of universal healthcare. So it should be a no-brainer, right? Well, no. Some of the obstacles are obvious. Big money. Fear of government. But there seems to be something more, like a fog that keeps people from moving forward together. What is so difficult about the idea of looking after each other? This film intends to expose the fog, and will leave viewers examining what it means to be an American and what it takes to step into action."

The film received a very positive reception and was followed by a discussion mostly about the prospects for health care reform after the upcoming elections - the focus for our next monthly meeting, post-election on Nov 16th.

Watch trailer


PNHPWW September Monthly Meeting

"Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point"

Instead of a regular September meeting, we suggested PNHPWW members attend the screening and panel discussion of "Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point" sponsored by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and the ILWU Puget Sound District Council. About 70 people attended.

This powerful documentary that takes a look at how our health care system is damaging our economy, suffocating our businesses, discouraging physicians, and negatively impacting on the nation's health while remaining unaffordable for a third of US residents.

The panel discussion included film producer Richard Master, founder and owner of MCS industries, who faces relentless annual cost increases to provide health insurance for his employees. "Fix It" is a result of his journey to find a solution to the dysfunctional US healthcare system. Also on the panel were Steven Bezruchka, Senior Lecturer Health Services, UW School of Public Health and David McLanahan, Coordinator, PNHPWW.

You can watch the full movie for free here

September 24th Forum at the Seattle Labor Temple

We co-sponsored this very timely event on Saturday, September 24th, at the Labor Temple. Speakers were Ted Marmor, Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and Political Science, Yale University, an acknowledged expert on social insurance policy and politics and State Senator Pramila Jayapal and State Representative Brady Walkinshaw, both strong single-payer advocates and candidates to succeed Jim McDermott in the 7th Congressional District. A panel discussion moderated by Robby Stern followed the presentations. About 80 people attended.

You can watch the event here and jump to chapters on the timeline. Particularly of note were the answers to questions "Do you think the ACA is an obstruction or a pathway to health care for all?" and "What do you think of the "public option?" (the Chrome browser provides flicker-free video).

Finally, please call or email Washington Congressional Representatives Rick Larsen ( - 424-252-3188); Susan DelBene ( - 425-485-0085); Derek Kilmer ( - 360-373-9725); & Denny Heck ( - 253-722-5860). and request that they sign on as co-sponsors to the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2016, H.R. 5952, legislation introduced by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) and co-sponsored by 47 representatives. It is comprehensive legislation and speaks to the necessity to Scrap the Cap and expand Social Security. It will set the stage for the fight in the 2017 Congressional session.

Recent Events

King County Council Motion to support expanding
Social Security and Medicare - Oct. 17

PNHPWW co-sponsored, lobbied and testified for the resolution originated by Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action that was passed unaniomously by the Seattle City Council in September. We then lobbied and testified for a similar resolution to the MLK County Council sponsored by CM Larry Gossett. It passed 6-1. Passage of the motion means the Council will ask WA's Congressional representatives to support the expansion of Social Security and Medicare.

ZoomCare Demonstration - Oct. 18
University District
4540 University Way NE, Seattle - Noon-1pm

PNHPWW co-sponsored the 4th Seattle-area demonstration to put pressure on ZoomCare and their financial backer, Endeavour Capital. These actions continue to let Zoom know we do not want their for-profit business model and discriminatory denial of service to Medicaid, Medicare & Tricare recipients in King County.

You can see a short video of the U District Zoom action here

PNHPWW July 27th Monthly Meeting

The Ethical Tension between Health Care as a Commodity
and Health Care as a Human Right

Aaron Katz - Principal Lecturer of Health Services, Global Health, and Law University of Washington School of Public Health

PNHPWW July 27th Meeting - Monthly Report - .docx - pdf

PNHPWW June 15th Monthly Meeting

The Colorado Cooperative Campaign - Amendment 69

Ivan J. Miller, Ph.D, Executive Director ColoradoCareYES discussed the Colorado Cooperative health reform initiative campaign to cover all Colorado residents in a cooperative, non-government-run plan. Colorado voters will vote on a state constitutional amendment, Amendment 69, in November PNHPWW June 15th Meeting - Monthly Report - doc - pdf


Physicians Proposal Released

The updated Physicans Proposal was released May 5th via the American Journal of Public Health. Several PNHP leaders were involved in the writing. More than 2,200 physicians have endorsed it so far, including 111 in Washington State. You can download the PNHP press release here The full text is available here and PNHP has released a Summary and Fact Sheet.

Statement by Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H., on Physicians’ Proposal for Single-Payer Health Care, May 5, 2016

Long before Senator Sanders’ entered the presidential race, my colleagues and I – Dr. Gaffney, Dr. David Himmelstein, and Dr. Marcia Angell (the former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine) – convened a blue ribbon panel of doctors to develop a plan that would fix the glaring problems that our patients continue to face despite the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Twenty-seven million Americans are still uninsured and that number is not expected to fall. Tens of millions with insurance face sky-high copayments and deductibles that would bankrupt them if they were seriously ill. And many more have narrow network plans that won’t cover care at top cancer hospitals or academic medical centers – even when they offer the best option for life saving care.

Meanwhile, profit-driven insurers and hospital chains increasingly dominate health care. And insurers’ growing demands for documentation wastes doctors and nurses time, and saps their morale. While these trends predated the ACA, the law fueled merger- mania, and added bureaucratic complexity and cost.

The alternative we developed (which has been endorsed by more than 2,200 physician colleagues) calls for radical change; a single-payer national health program.

Our plan would cover everyone for all medically necessary care, without copayments or deductibles. And it would guarantee Americans the right to choose any doctor or hospital.

Our nation can readily afford this if we replace today’s wasteful patchwork of insurance plans with a streamlined single-payer system. My colleagues and I have documented the enormous bureaucratic costs of the current system in research published in the most respected medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the JAMA, The American Journal of Public Health and Health Affairs.

Today, private insurers take 12.3 percent of total premiums for their overhead; only 88 cents of every premium dollar reaches a doctor, hospital or pharmacy. And insurers inflict massive paperwork on doctors and hospitals, forcing them to spend one- quarter of their total revenues on billing and administration.

In contrast, insurance overhead is only 1.8 percent in Canada’s single-payer system, about the same as overhead in Medicare. And Canadian hospitals have administrative costs less than half those of their U.S. counterparts. That’s because Canadian hospitals are paid annual global budgets, like fire departments, instead of billing separately for each Band-Aid and aspirin tablet. And billing is simple and inexpensive for Canadian physicians.

Overall, a single payer would save between $400 billion and $500 billion annually by trimming administrative spending to Canadian levels. Moreover, as in other nations, the single payer could use its purchasing power to lower drug prices, saving tens of billions more each year. These savings could fully cover the new costs of the coverage expansions we propose, a conclusion in keeping with past estimates by the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Budget Office, and private consulting groups (including one owned by UnitedHealthcare).

We have the resources needed to provide excellent care for all Americans; an abundance of hospitals and sophisticated equipment; superbly trained doctors and nurses; prodigious research output; and generous health care funding. Yet only thoroughgoing reform can realize the healing potential that is currently thwarted by our dysfunctional health care financing system.

Dr. Woolhandler is an internist in the Bronx, a professor of public health at the City University of New York at Hunter College, and a lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School, where she previously served as a professor of medicine. She co-founded Physicians for a National Health Program, a nonpartisan organization that advocates single-payer reform.

New Students for a National Health Program at University of Washington


Students for a National Health Program at the University of Washington (SNaHP-UW) brings the movement for universal healthcare through a national single-payer system to campus. SNaHP-UW seeks to educate and organize undergraduate and graduate students from health science, law, economics, political science, and beyond to add their voices to the growing chorus of healthcare professionals and students calling for healthcare for all.

The chapter's web page describes coming events


Video on Single Payer for Washington State


PNHPWW member Mark Hickling has produced a 12 minute video describing the US health care system and those of other developed nations in a down-to-earth way that we can use in our advocacy with friends and family. This video is great for opening a meeting or houseparty.

You can watch this on YouTube by clicking here or on the photo. If you'd like a DVD copy ($5 for materials and postage), send a request here.

Click to watch new short single payer video for Washington State

In the News

Economic Analysis of New York Health Act

Gerald Friedman, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Economics, U. Massachusetts, at Amherst

Watch Video - Chick here

John Geyman's Latest Book

"Although many had high hopes for ObamaCare, as John Geyman shows us the human faces, we realize that reform fell too short for too many. He shows us not only those human faces but also the pained face of health care justice. He provides us with an understanding of what is wrong with our system, and then describes options for the future. He encourages us all to participate in the reform dialogue so that we can finally get this right. "The Human Face of ObamaCare" is a great place to start." --- Don McCanne, MD

John's most recent previous books How Obamacare is Unsustainable - Why we need a Single-Payer Solution for All Americans documents where the ACA fails and the fix we need. Health Care Wars - How Market Ideology and Corporate Power Are Killing Amercians examines how our market-based system benefits the 1% at the grave expense and suffering of the 99%. "Breaking Point - How the Primary Care Crisis Endangers the Lives of Americans" documents the crisis in primary care in the US and what we must do about it.
John's Web Site


For the latest news on health reform legislation - check PNHP articles of interest and opinion - or research a topic by clicking on the Google Custom Search image below:

The PNHPWW Lending Library

We are in the process of building a lending library with members' and supporters' books and DVD's. If you are willing to lend one or more of your books or DVD's, please send the title and author to We will guarantee your book will be replaced, if lost. To review the books - click on the shelf image

If you would like to borrow a book, you will can pick it up at a monthly meeting or pay for postage. Order it through the link on the library pages"


The information You Need to Remain Up-To-Date on Health Care Reform:

Sign up for Don McCanne's Quote of the Day

donFor invaluable daily current health care reform information and analysis read PNHP Senior Staff Policy Analyst Don McCanne's Quote of the Day

Listserve free subscription



Recent Opinion and Information

"Fixing Obamacare: Move to Single Payer" - Joe Martin - Seattle Times LTE - 4-2-15
“What Happened in Vermont: Implications of the Pullback from Single Payer”
- Steffie Woolhandler, MD, and David Himmelstein, MD, -Jan, 2015
“Lesson On The Struggle For Health Care As A Human Right: What happened in Vermont where a so-called single payer proposal died?”- Margaret Flowers, MD, in Populare Resistance, Jan 2015
Backgrounder on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Healthcare - Margaret Flowers, MD
Stephen Kemble, MD - The Business Case for Single Payer - March, 2014 Powerpoint
Dr. Arnold Relman, Outspoken Medical Editor, dies at 91"
- New York Times obituary
Health Care for All Oregon Speakers Resources -
Powerpoints, Tips, References, Logistics, Friedman & other videos
Why Oncologists Should Support Singe-Payer National Healthy Insurance -
Ray E. Dragon, MD and Lawrence H. Einhorn, MD
10 Things Unions Need to Look Out for When Bargaining Under Obamacare -
Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare
A Perspective on the Relationship between State and National Single Payer Work.doc - Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein- PDF
Obstacles to State Based Reform: Vermont - slideshow - Dr. Marvin Malek
Immigrants and the Human Right to Health Care
- National Economics and Social Rights Initiative
People of Color and the Human Right to Health Care
- National Economics and Social Rights Initiative
Women and the Human Right to Health Care
- National Economics and Social Rights Initiative
Obamacare and the New Deal
- Michael Lind, Comment Don McCanne
What Kind of a Problem is the ACA Rollout for Liberalism
- Michael Konczal
Strategy and Creativity for Grassroots Power (video)
- Bill Moyer, Backbone Campaign
A close look at ACA Exchanges
-Paul Criag Roberts
Funding HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act - How we can afford a national single-payer plan
- Gerald Friedman, Phd
Peter Bohmer's notes on Social Movements -
Word.doc - PDF
Roadmap to State Single Payer - Public Citizen
ACA vs Single Payer - Accessibility, Affordability, Cost Control -
Real Danger of Obamacare: Insurance Company Takeover of Medicine - Nomi Prins
Some thoughts on What's Ahead - Drs. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein
It's Time for Single Payer
- Dr. James C. Mitchiner
Will Pay for Performance Backfire?; Insights from Behavioral Economics - Woolhandler and Ariely
Medicare Overpayments to Private Plans, 1985 - 2012
- Hellander. Woolhandler, Himmelstein
The Nuts and Bolts of Medicare Premium Support Proposals
- Kaiser Foundation
Committee Responsibilities
- Health Care for All Oregon
Minnesota Single Payer Economic Study
- The Lewin Group
Funding a National Single-Payer System - Gerald Friedman - Prof Economics, U. of Massachusetts-Amherst
"Occupy" and US Health Care - Dr. Mary Obrien
The Wyden-Ryan Plan: Deja-vu All Over Again
- Uwe Reinhart
Sustaining the Movement for the 99%
- Steering Committee of the Labor Campaign for Single-Payer
A Difficult Pill to Swallow
- Margaret Flowers, MD
Privatize Medicare? No Thanks! - Dr. James Mitchner
Why won't Corporate America Support Single Payer Medicare for All - Mark Dudzic
Ryan turns Knife on Medicare, Medicaid - Dr. Margaret Flowers
Pay Much Attention to the Insurers Behind the Curtain - Wendell Potter
Medicare for All is the Solution - Robert Reich
Stop the Bipartisan Assault on Medicare - Support the People - Claudia Chaufan
What Happened to Social Justice in Health Care Reform? - Arthur Sutherland

PNHP's Slideshows - Updated November, 2015

These slides are the latest sets from the PNHP Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The classic sets have been updated. Pick and chose to design slide shows for various audiences and presentation settings.

Download PowerPoint Slideshow
Margaret Flower's "Single Payer Basics and the Effect of P-PACA"


John Geymajohnn, MD, is Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has spent 25 years in academic family medicine. He is Past President of Physicians for National Health Program (PNHP) and a PNHPWW Board member. John has now written 10 books that are indespensible for understanding the roots of our health care crisis, its current condition, and what must be done to achieve a just and sustainable replacement.

Health Care Wars - How Market Ideology and Corporate Power Are Killing Amercians examines how our market-based system benefits the 1% at the grave expense and suffering of the 99%. As described by Ralph Nader:

"Dr. John Geyman's Health Care Wars is a tour de force—replete with facts that are organized for reader understanding and civic arousal. Citing irrefutable evidence from unrebutted studies, in properly enraging detail about lost lives and plundered family budgets, Dr. Geyman lays down the steps needed to replace corporatized, wasteful, corrupt health sales with full Medicare for all, containing incentives for prevention, cost control and the rise of honest, competent health care as if people matter first.
.... Health Care Wars is a remarkably comprehensive, contextual and action-driven book with some marvelously insightful cartoons which show that in humor there it truth."

Health Care Wars
ISBN 978-0-9837734-8-1
228 Pages / $18.95
Available through

John's most recent previous books Health Care Wars - How Market Ideology and Corporate Power Are Killing Amercians examines how our market-based system benefits the 1% at the grave expense and suffering of the 99%. "Breaking Point - How the Primary Care Crisis Endangers the Lives of Americans" documents the crisis in primary care in the US and what we must do about it.
John's Web Site


What You Can Do To Help:

*Join the Campaign to Pass HR 676 and HR 1200
by sending an email to We'll keep you posted with important updates and actions

*Lobby your members of Congress
Tell your representatives that you support HR 676 and HR 1200 and they should too. You can use this email form or - better yet - call their office

*Write an Op-Ed or Letter to the Editor
You can find tips, templates and examples by clicking here

*Speak out about the single-payer solution
Educate yourself about single-payer using the resources & materials -here and here. Bring materials and talk to your church, labor, community or other group about the singlepayer solution.


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