Following is the complete text of the City of Seattle's recently adopted resolution:
A RESOLUTION supporting the passage of the Medicare for All Act of 2019.
WHEREAS, the United States paid approximately $3,500,000,000,000 dollars in total healthcare spending in 2017, an increase of 3.9 percent over the previous year and, at nearly $11,000 per person, the highest healthcare per capita spending rate in the world; and
WHEREAS, an estimated one quarter to one-third of healthcare spending is on administrative costs, including generating bills and collecting payments; and
WHEREAS, despite spending nearly 19 percent of gross domestic product on healthcare, the United States has worse health outcomes compared with other developed countries, including a maternal mortality rate (26.4 deaths per 100,000 births) up to five times more than other developed countries; a higher infant
mortality rate; a lower life expectancy (69 years) that has been getting lower for the last two years; and higher rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and preventable deaths; and
WHEREAS, although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has resulted in dramatic increases in health insurance coverage since its passage in 2010, the 14 states not participating in ACA-authorized Medicaid expansion perpetuate non-coverage for low-income individuals; and
WHEREAS, too many Americans are one medical crisis away from bankruptcy or are forced to choose between rent and life-saving medical treatments; and
WHEREAS, annual spending on prescription drugs, a major cost driver of healthcare, exceeds $350,000,000,000; and
WHEREAS, Governor Jay Inslee is introducing legislation to provide a public health care option through Washington State's health benefit exchange; and
WHEREAS, in Washington State the uninsured population declined from 14 percent of the state's population in 2013 to 6.1 percent in 2017, yet an estimated 446,106 individuals remain uninsured, including 118,818 individuals in King County; and
WHEREAS, in King County as in the rest of the U.S., American Indians and Native Alaskans, Blacks, Asian and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics and Latinos are all significantly less likely than whites to have health insurance; and
WHEREAS, Public Health Seattle-King County estimates that medical costs are a barrier to seeking medical care for one in seven King County adults; and
WHEREAS, the number of uninsured people increased by nearly 700,000 people during the first year of the Trump Administration, the first increase of the uninsured since the passage of the ACA; and
WHEREAS, the creation of a single-payer universal Medicare program would cover all American residents, including the estimated 28 million individuals currently uninsured;
WHEREAS, the City's Federal Lobbying Agenda includes support of healthcare for all;
WHEREAS, Representative Pramila Jayapal and 107 co-sponsors are advocating for the passage of the Medicare for All Act of 2019, which calls for the comprehensive and total transformation of the U.S. health care system to a single-payer model;
WHEREAS, organizations such as Public Citizen, National Nurses United, Center for Popular Democracy, Business Initiative for Health Policy, National Union of Healthcare Workers, American Postal Workers Union, United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers, the American Federation of Teachers, Amalgamated Transit Union, American Medical Students Association, Service Employees International
Union, and Physicians for a National Health Program, support passage of the Medicare for All Act of 2019;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE, THE MAYOR CONCURRING, THAT:
Section 1. It is the duty of the federal government to pass the Medicare for All Act of 2019 to:
A. Eliminate copays premiums, deductibles and other cost sharing that prevent residents from getting the healthcare services they need.
B. Ensure that every single resident of the United States has access to comprehensive, quality healthcare including all primary care, hospital and outpatient services, prescription drugs, dental, vision, audiology, women's reproductive health services, maternity and newborn care, long-term services and supports, mental health and substance abuse treatment, laboratory and diagnostic services, ambulatory services, and more.
C. Ensure that patients have complete freedom to choose their doctors, hospitals, and other providers without worrying about whether a provider is 'in-network.'
D. Ensure that long-term services and supports for persons with disabilities and seniors are fully covered and provided through home and community-based services unless the individual chooses otherwise.
E. Eliminate hundreds of billions of dollars in inefficient administrative waste.
F. Prevent healthcare corporations from overcharging for the costs of services and profiting off illness
G. Establish global budgets to contain exorbitant costs present in the system today and allow the public to know where our healthcare dollars are being spent.
H. Bring down the cost of prescription drugs by allowing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower prescription drug costs and to provide a compulsory license to a generic manufacturer if the company will not negotiate in good faith.
I. Preserve the ability for veterans to receive their healthcare through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
J. Preserve the ability for American Indians and Native Alaskans to receive their health benefits and services through the Indian Health Service.
Section 2. The Office of Intergovernmental Relations is requested to send a copy of this resolution to the City's congressional delegation.
Section 3. All Seattle residents and Americans nationwide are encouraged to contact their congressional representatives at (202) 858-1717 to ask their representative to support the Medicare for All Act of 2019.
Adopted by the City Council the 13th day of March, 2019, and signed by me in open session in authentication of its adoption this 13th day of March, 2019.
President Bruce Harrell of the City Council.
The Mayor concurred the 14th day of March, 2019.
Jenny A. Durkan, Mayor
Filed by me, this 14th day of March, 2019
Monica Martinez Simmons, City Clerk
Courtesy of the Office of the Seattle City Council
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