Press Advisory: Ballot Initiative for Universal Healthcare in Washington State Filed with the Secretary of State (I-1600)

Seattle, WA


Whole Washington, a grassroots group dedicated to getting universal healthcare passed in Washington state, has just received their initiative number from the Secretary of State [https://www.sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/finaltext_1441.pdf]. This comes just weeks after Dr. Gerald Friedman (Economist, University of Massachusetts, Amherst) completed a historic funding study that demonstrates Washington State will save billions of dollars annually by passing a Universal Healthcare system [http://www.wholewashington.org/executive_summary_of_fiscal_study].

Whole Washington, who commissioned the study, will be holding campaign launches to discuss his findings and begin collecting the 300,000 signatures necessary to get on the ballot in November 2018. Deadline for collecting signatures is July 6th, 2018.

Campaign Launches re:Universal Health Care Funding

  1. February 10th, “Healthcare with a Heart,” movie/Campaign launch in Tacoma co- hosted by Red Berets for Medicare
  2. March 1st, “Workers Demand Healthcare,” Campaign launch in Vancouver co- hosted with ILWU Local 4, keynote speaker: Dr. Gerald Friedman
  3. March 2nd, “Healthcare: Fix it with Civics Not Politics,” Campaign launch in Spokane, keynote speaker: Dr. Gerald Friedman, location TBA
  4. March 3rd, “Healthcare and Homelessness,” Campaign launch in Seattle co-hosted by Socialist Alternative, keynote: Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, panel led by Dr. Gerald Friedman, location TBA
  5. March 4th 3-5pm: Dr. Gerald Friedman will discuss & answer questions about the funding mechanism & costs savings for the Whole Washington initiative (Shoreline Senior Center 18560 1st Ave NE, Shoreline)

“Rising administrative costs are the price we pay for a broken system of private health insurance, a system designed to increase industry profits even while denying adequate health care to growing numbers of our citizens....A single-payer health insurance system would dramatically lower costs by eliminating much of the administrative burden both within health insurance companies and within provider offices’ billing and insurance operations.” Dr. Gerald Friedman

Currently 522,000 Washington state residents do not have any health insurance, and many more are underinsured.

Dr. Friedman’s study concludes:

  • Washington state residents will save over 9 billion dollars per year under a Universal Healthcare system, which equates to a savings of over $1,200 per year/per person!
  • More than 522,000 people, who do not have any health care presently, will now be able to enroll with low or no premiums or out-of-pocket costs.
  • Businesses on average will see a decrease in spending from the current rate of 15.3% in payroll taxes for private insurance to an average of less than 7% in payroll assessments for Universal Coverage.

Whole Washington is a grassroots coalition of healthcare professionals, activists and organizers with a common belief that healthcare is a human right, and Washington can and should be doing more to provide the best level of healthcare to all residents.


Erin Georgen, erin@wholewashington.org

Georgia Davenport, georgia@wholewashington.org

(971) 716-1865