Quality health care, including mental health care, is a basic human right.
We support the federal Affordable Care Act because it will provide health care access to millions of Americans who have lacked it. We also recognize that under the ACA, 30 million Americans may still lack health insurance, medical bankruptcies will still exist, and health care costs will not be sufficiently controlled.
A national single-payer health care plan 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 employees benefits.
Healthcare facilities that receive public funding must not restrict legally approved medical procedures, for religious or other reasons.
2014 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.
Federal Government: Prohibit advertising of prescription drugs.
Federal Government: Continue funding stem cell research and use the knowledge gained to improve health to the fullest extent.
Federal Government: Regulate prescription drugs in order to reduce cost. Authorize Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies. 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.
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: Twenty-four hour, seven days a week clinic, fully staffed. For the safety of our society, we need to catch crises ASAP, just as we do for medical.
Whatcom County: A new jail must include mental health treatment and services for drug and alcohol addiction. This includes both room space and fully funded staff.
Whatcom County: Fully fund Crisis Triage programs, including adequate security.
Whatcom County and local cities: House the homeless. The homeless mentally ill can barely survive, much less go the their doctor’s appointments, see their counselors and purchase medications. They are in a perpetual cycle of breaking down, going into care, stabilizing and breaking down again. A housing program should include daytime activities.