Physicians for a National Health Program - Western Washington ccccc--

Coming Events :

January 17th - PNHPWW Monthly Meeting
Swedish Medical Center-Cherry Hill Campus
SE Conference Center, Room A, 7:30pm

January Calendar

February Calendar








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State Organizations
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is a Human Right

-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
-Health Care is a Human Right - WA Democrats of America

-United for National HealthCare - Bellingham
-Socialist Alternative
-Washington Community Action Network
-Backbone Campaign

Health Care is a Human Right -

Get Activist's Toolkit

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


Whole Washington

New Whole Washington flyer of Dr. Friedman's economic analysis of what a state single plan would affect our state

Right click to download Hi-Resolution copy

New WHST PowerPoint


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 January 17th Meeting - Monthly Report

"Big Pharma: Market Failure"

Discussion Leader - Ronnie Shure
BS Pharmacy, Board Member of HCFA-WA and PSARA

24 people attended the meeting, including three members of the Union of Physicians and Dentists, affiliated with AFSCME and the AFL-CIO, working in Auburn Hospital. Welcome.

This documentary film explores the problem of extreme drug prices in the US and how drug costsimpacts on the public, on businesses and the overall US economy. It makes an effective business case for realizable change, digging deeply to answer key questions. How much do pharma companies really spend on research and development of truly innovative drugs?  Do "free market" principles impact on drug prices and help control cost? Do the normal rules of business apply to the pharma industry? How do TV ads impact consumers and doctors?

It proposes to create a solution that makes business sense for employers and health sense for employees. It is a compelling drama that reveals the truth of pharma cost and what we can do about it.

"Big Pharma" was produced by Richard Master, the producer of "Fix It: Health Care at the Tipping Point."

We were fortunate to have Ronnie Shure with us to comment on the film and lead the discussion. His experience as a pharmacist and activist dates back to the 1970's - first on the east coast and then, since 1986, in the Seattle area working and teaching at Group Health, Seattle/King County Public Health, and Harborview from 2002 - 2012. Ronnie is active in single payer health care reform as an Executive Board Member of Health Care for All - Washington and Board of Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action.

You can watch the film by clicking here -

ATTENTION - Jan 20th - Womens March 2.0 - Meet at 9:30 am on the northeast corner of Cal Anderson Park to march with other health care reform advocates. Look for PNHPWW banner.

Business Meeting

Introductions  - Sherry Weinberg, President, PNHPWW
Coordinators Report - David McLanahan
   Email list - 1110
   Web Site - 804 unique visitors

Past Events

Jan 15th - MLK Day workshop and Rally - PNHPWW marched
Jan 16th - WA Senate Health Care Committee Hearing on Single Payer bill "Washington Apple Care Trust"- SB5701, sponsored by Senator David Frockt had a hearing in the Senate. The testimony of 17 folks was heartfelt and persuasive. Sherry Weinberg testified for HCFA-WA and PNHP-WW. TVW will (eventually) post the session online & we will put link on our web site -

Jan 16th - Health Care is a Human Right - WA meeting. Mark Dudzik, Chair of The Labor Campaign for Single Payer, spoke on what benchmarks need to be met for a "breakthough" single payer plan and/or initiative to have a realistic chance for success. He said that a failed iniative would be "devastating." This was a brilliant and wide-ranging talk based on Mark's long experience as a union organizer. It was recorded and will be available soon. 
Some other decisions - 1) The HCHR-WA Steering Committee will be re-established. Each organization can elect a representative. 2) A new action plan will be developed based on the original one with appropriate changes for 2018. 3) Minutes of the meetings will be made available in the future.

Future Events:

Jan 16th - WA Senate Health Care Committee Hearing on Single Payer bills 
- SB5957 and SB5747, similar to the House Bill "The Washington Health Security Trust," will have hearings in the Senate Health Committee starting at 9am. Gerald Friedman, U. Mass. economist, who did a financial analysis of the WA single payer bills will testify.

Jan 20th - Womens March 2.0 - Meet at 9:30 am on the northeast corner of Cal Anderson Park to march with other health care reform advocates. Look for PNHPWW banner.
February 21st - PNHPWW February MonthlyMeeting, 7:30pm, Swedish/Cherry Hill Campus, SECC, Room A


January 20th - Women's March - Seattle

10am - 3pm - Cal Anderson Park, Seattle. Last year's march was one of the largest in the country. This one could be bigger. Show your support for women's rights, racial equity, and all the other social justice issues being threatened. Look for the PNHPWW banner in the Park and march with us. Meet at 9:30 am on the northeast corner of Cal Anderson Park to march with other health care reform advocates.

February 21st - PNHPWW Monthly Meeting - 7:30pm - Swedish Medical Center/Cherry Hill Campus, SECC, Rm A

February 22nd - Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action - Senior Lobby Day - Olympia

8am - 3pm - Lobby your representatives to support expanding Medicare and Social Security benefits and to protect WA safety net programs

Carpooling available. For info and to register for a lunch contact


PNHPWW December 20 Meeting
"Dare to Dream"
US Medical Students Training in Cuba

Sponsored by PNHPWW & Seattle Cuba Friendship Committee

"Dare to Dream" is a 30 minute film that tells the story of  the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana, Cuba, the largest medical school in the world.

Discussion Leader - Xochitl Garcia, MD
Graduate Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM)

 John Waller, Secretary of the Seattle Cuba Friendship Committee; Xochitl Garcia

Considering the continuing bad news at the about the current state and future threats to our health care system, it was very nice to hear some good news about an influx of dedicated, socially conscious physicians who work for health care for all.

PNHPWW November 15 Meeting
Swedish Medical Center/Cherry Hill Campus
7:30pm, James Conference Center, Room A

Report on PNHP Annual Meeting in Atlanta

At this meeting PNHPWW and SNaHP-UW members who attended discussed their impressions of the weekend and gave reports on the high points of the workshops they attended.

There were 12 workshops, some ad hoc sessions, and lunch and dinner speakers as listed below. It was not really possible to review all of these during our PNHPWW meeting, but most of these had slideshows or handouts that are worth reviewing closely. You can download for off-line access following the links provided.

PNHPWW November Meeting - Monthly Report - PDF Word.doc

PNHPWW October 18th Meeting Report
From Ghost Train to Express:
Building a Dynamic PNHP Chapter

This was a fun and inspiring meeting with powerful challenges issued by dynamic speakers William Bronston and Keith McCallin - aimed at both us and back at themselves. They are the founders/leaders of the new California Sacramento Capital chapter of PNHP.

Click here to watch YouTube video

PNHPWW October Meeting - Monthly Report - pdf

PNHPWW Sept 16th Meeting Monthly Report 

Discussion of Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All Legislation

This was a very interesting meeting looking at Bernie Sanders' new Medicare for All legislation, S1804, and comparing it with John Conyers' HR676. To see the discussion take a look at the Report below. It also contains many links with comparison of the simiarities and differences between the two bills and valuable analysis from different points of view.

PNHPWW September Meeting - Monthly Report - .pdf

PNHPWW August 16th Meeting Monthly Report
Discussion on Plans for a Candidate Forum
on Health Care in October

PNHPWW August Meeting - Monthly Report - .doc

  • PNHPWW July 19th Monthly Meeting

    Millions Marching for Medicare for All

Phil Polizatto and Pam Dalan took the lead in organizing the Millions Marching for Medicare event Monday, July 24th at the Jackson Federal Building, in Seattle. Similar events that week, both to support Medicare and celebrate its 52nd Birthday on July 30th, were held across the country.
Watch video of event

PNHPWW Annual Public Meeting Weekend

The PNHPWW APM weekend events got high marks from the attendees. If you were unable to be there for the Saturday evening meeting at Kane Hall, you will appreciate the energy and enthusiasm generated by watching video of speakers George Lakey and Carol Paris, MD, PNHP President, and the panel discussion that included John Geyman, MD.  You can watch the event from start to finish including the greeting by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and the awarding of the John Geyman Health Justice Advocate Award to Don Mitchell, MD, Past-President of PNHPWW.

There is also a video of the Saturday morning radio interview of George Lakey by Mike McCormick of KEXP's "Mind Over Matters" that highlights George's remarkable history leading to lifelong commitment to nonviolent resistance as a proven, winning strategy for achieving social justice.

The takeaways from the weekend were the importance of building a "movement of movements" and having a strategy for going on the offense at this remarkable point in our nation's history.

The single payer activism workshop led by George and Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign attracted 30 participants. The spirit and energy in the room were palpable. Fortunately, video of the workshop will be available after editing is complete.

Special thanks to Mike McCormick of KEXP radio and his for creating the media that will be available to others in our state and across the country.



Other News:

Still working to make our PNHPWW social media more useful. Please submit/share important info, articles, events to/on our Facebook site -

PNHPWW YouTube channel - -

National single payer coalitions:

1) HOPE - Health Over Profit for Everyone; Facebook -; Twitter -
Launched Feb 1st. focused on organizing for national SP legislation HR676. Initiated by Margaret Flowers, Kevin Zeese and others. Website with valuable information about advocacy and events. Holds regular national conference calls at 9 pm Eastern/6 pm Pacific. These calls are open to everyone, but you must register to receive a number.

These calls will provide political updates, educate about National Improved Medicare for All, discuss strategy and plan actions to change the political culture in the United States so that NIMA is the only politically viable solution.

2) Campaign for Guaranteed Healthcare - launched on 1-26-17 by Healthcare-Now! – “a fight back coalition that will carry out a nationally-coordinated, large-scale and militant campaign to fight for single-payer healthcare”.

Whole Washington
 is new single-payer organization in WA. It is “a grassroots coalition of healthcare profeDescription: escription: Macintosh HD:Users:davidmclanahan:Desktop:15740792_348620255523521_4391742141953985974_n.pngssionals, activists and organizers with a common belief that healthcare is a human right, and Washington should be doing more to provide the best level of care to all residents.” It is working on a ballot initiative to bring single-payer healthcare to Washington State. For info -
Facebook -

There are 15 Annual PNHP Meeting slideshows of the plenary presentations and workshops that you can review and use the information for local activities, presentations, LTE’s etc. You can see the list of slideshow topics with links to them by clicking here.

Suggested Reading : Health Reform in the Trump Era: A Big Step Back, But Possibilities for Bigger Steps Forward – Woolhandler and Himmelstein , Nov 16, 2016.

"Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point"

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.

Film producer Richard Master, founder and owner of MCS industries, produced the film. He 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.

You can watch the full movie for free here

Recent Literature of Note

10-Point Plan to Stop Trump and Make Gains in Justice and Equality
(word - PDF) - George Lakey

Rand Study - "A Comprehensive Assessment of Four Options for Financing Health Care Delivery in Oregon" - PDF

Washington Post article by PNHP’s Himmelstein and Woolhandler -  “Repealing the Affordable Care Act will kill more than 43,000 people annually - The impact of Republicans' war on Obamacare is likely to be worse than anyone expects”

The Public Option is Back - 
Don McCanne's Comments - Sept 16, 2016

Structural Racism and Supporting Black Lives — The Role of Health Professionals 
-  NEJM, October 12, 2016

Affordable Care Act: imploding and beyond repair - John Geyman. MD - The Hill, Oct 21, 2016

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

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 12 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.

Just at the right time! John's new book looks at how, over the last 60 years, our health care system got to be where it is now - how it changed from a system devoted to patient care to one devoted to maximizing revenues. It then compares the three basic alternatives for health care reform currently being debated.

The book can be ordered from Copernicus Healthcare via Amazon here

John's previous books:
The Human Face of Obamacare
- Promises vs. Reality and What Comes Next

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

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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



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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