Seattle Teachers Show Solidarity With Striking Bus Drivers

Hundreds of educators joined with striking bus drivers on the picket line Wednesday at a number of protest hubs throughout Seattle.

The gulf between the drivers, represented by the Teamsters union, and First Student, a subcontractor with Seattle Public Schools, has widened since a one-day strike in Nov. 2017 after the two sides failed to negotiate an agreement on improved healthcare and retirement benefits in ensuing months.

via South Seattle Emerald

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Java with Jayapal

Photo by Alex Garland


Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) met up with the Capitol Hill community Wednesday morning for some intimate updates and Q&A. The session inside Broadway’s Espresso Vivace showed the representative is busy doing the best she can to block Trump-esque bills with little time to push her own agenda through Congress.

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Jayapal leads Seattle town hall rally against Trumpcare

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Sen. Pramilla Jayapal answers audience questions about moving forward. (Photo by Kelsey Hamlin)

Town Hall Seattle filled with mostly seniors July 6, gathered together for Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D–Wash) as she talked about politicians’ strategies and proposals for America’s new healthcare.

The Republican base vowed to rail against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before its implementation, quickly renaming it Obamacare in 2010. After that negative political nickname trickled down throughout America, now-President Donald Trump promised to repeal the ACA as soon as he got elected office. Now, seven months into his term, Republicans are still trying to replace it. […]

On July 27, the Senate cast their votes for the last standing Trumpcare bill. Hoards of protestors stood outside of the Washington D.C. Capitol shouting, “don’t kill us, kill the bill!” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted against repealing Obamacare and against their own party’s wishes. People watching nationwide were nervous because McCain, recently diagnosed with cancer, was speaking out in support of the bill the entire week prior and even after his diagnosis. Without having obtained three more people against the bill on top of many democrats already against it, the legislation would have past. Still, many speculate it is not yet over.

[…]

a woman with gold-rimmed glasses stepped on stage. Her name: Leigh Pate. She’s a cancer survivor who finished another round of chemotherapy three weeks prior, due to fallopian tube cancer. Her bills, Pate explained, are already upward $300,000.

Before the ACA, Pate struggled to pay for her necessary medical interventions. She recalled that the ACA “was a tremendous burden lifted.” But that burden wasn’t lifted for too long.

“Two weeks ago, I got a love letter from my insurance company,” Pate said. The paper alerted her to no longer having coverage. She held up the paper.

“I spent the rainy morning at my kitchen table—still sick from having chemo three days before—researching which insurance company might offer me an individual policy.”

She knew losing her insurance meant never getting coverage because of her pre-existing condition: Cancer. Missing a payment meant getting dropped.

“There are people sitting around kitchen tables all around this country who got the same letter as I did,” Pate said. “They’re using their precious energy worrying about their health finances.”

The ACA: Where it stands and how it affects the API community

Pete Souza

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House. White House photo by Pete Souza

As the GOP continues to adjust its own plan, healthcare professionals and advocates are doing some serious groundwork around the ACA, which has had a tremendous impact on the Asian Pacific Islander community.

One of these advocates is Stephanie Liou, a medical student at the UW. She advocated for the ACA in its inception, and now she’s advocating for it to stay. And she’s not alone. Doctors across the nation are getting behind the ACA, to the point where there are numerous health providers underneath the Protect Our Patients coalition calling legislators, and continuing to educate the public about ACA myths and facts.

Locally, there’s a group of physicians in Washington who have never done advocacy, but are now taking action, writing opinion pieces and convincing colleagues.

“Doctors have been kind of historically a-political, and really it’s becoming this movement across the country for doctors and health professionals standing up and saying, ‘look, whatever your political ideologies are, this is going to be harmful for patients,’” Liou explained. “It’s appalling to me that the landscape I face when I graduate next year is that I can only take care of a certain population who can pay for it. So this do-no-harm idea has been really core to a lot of the advocacy we’re doing.”…

In addition, APIs are impacted the most by the ACA. In 2012, a DHS study predicted that nearly 2 million Asian Americans would be covered by the ACA given that the community is disproportionately impacted by chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and Hepatitis B, because they often skip out on screenings. The most frequent uninsured group was Korean Americans (at 25.5 percent uninsured). As such, an ACA repeal would reverse disparity gaps like these that were closing.

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Diagnosing Racism: Students for an Anti-Racist UW School of Medicine Forms, Holds Call to Action

by Kelsey Hamlin

“It started with medical student activism,” said University of Washington Assistant Professor Frederica Overstreet.

Over the course of one academic year, UW medical students formed Students for an Anti-Racist UW (SARU), School of Medicine.

via South Seattle Emerald

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