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Quality health care, including mental health care, is a basic human right.
We support expanding the federal Affordable Care Act into a single-payer health care plan, which is the best method to control costs, ensure access to affordable prescriptions, and deliver the highest quality of care.
It is essential that our health care system treat all patients equally, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, religious beliefs, age, or state of one’s health or legal status.
We oppose employers using their personal religious beliefs to restrict employee benefits.
Healthcare facilities that receive public funding must not restrict legally approved medical procedures, for religious or other reasons.
2016 Policy Priorities
Washington State Legislature: Institute a single payer health care plan as a stepping-stone toward a national single payer system.
Federal Government and Washington State: Support public funding for reproductive health services, such as Planned Parenthood.
Washington State Legislature: Allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control pills, as in California and Oregon.
Federal Government: Prohibit advertising of prescription drugs.
Federal Government: Authorize Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies.
U.S. Congress: FDA laws must require all drug trial results be made publicly available and included in determinations of safety and efficacy. FDA review panels must exclude those scientists funded by pharmaceutical companies.
Federal government, Washington State, Whatcom County and cities, Port of Bellingham, neighborhood associations: Scale up emergency planning, upgrade construction standards, and retrofit existing buildings and transportation infrastructure in anticipation of Cascadia subduction zone earthquake.
County Executive: Fully fund EMS.
Mental Health Priorities:
Federal Government, Washington State: We need more beds dedicated to mental health care with longer stays to stabilize individuals and to prevent relapses that create costly medical care and need for costly social services.
Whatcom County, local cities: Create halfway houses to transition individuals to ordinary life, following treatment.
Whatcom County, local cities: Fund twenty-four hour, seven days a week clinics, with triage, fully staffed. Fund school-based mental health treatment to provide best access for all children.
Whatcom County: Every jail or detention facility must include mental health treatment and services for drug and alcohol addiction.