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February 07, 2006

Don Barbieri Asks for Help in Passing Health Care Bills

The Washington Fair Share Health Care Coalition,is a group of business, labor, religious and health providers working together to expand access to health coverage in Washington State.  Don Barbieri, 2004 Democratic candidate for Congress from the 5th Congressional District (unsuccessful - he ran in the wrong year), is a member of that group and heartily endorses efforts to pass two new health care bills this year and asks for all of our help to do this. 

He's written a letter (Download Barbieriletteronhealthcare020106.pdf) asking all of us progressives to help pass the Fair Share Coalition bills. In that letter he says these bills are steps to "reverse the destructive erosion of our families' health and our medical support system."

There are two bills, the first of which is more well-known:

SB6356 and HB2517 are the bills that require employers of more than 5,000 to put a reasonable percentage of their payroll toward covering their employees' health care costs or to pay the state for public state coverage of the uninsured.

HB 2572 provides access to the Basic Health Program for low-wage employees and provides small businesses the opportunity to pool insurance and thereby offer less expensive health care coverage to their employees.

An organization called Washington for Health Care has one of those sites that makes it easy to contact your representatives and let them know why you want them to vote for these bills.  Do it.

In an email sent accompanying his letter, Barbieri says he believes that health care is a "core quality of life issue" that must be addressed now.  It is particularly important for the Spokane area, where businesses have been re-locating to Idaho.  He says these bills give small businesses a way to "take care of" their employees and rewards those large businesses who already fund their fair share.  He also says that the issue polls "off the charts" throughout the state.  People know this is critical and don't like what they hear about what WalMart and other large businesses are doing by transfering health care costs to the state.

Posted by Lynn Allen on February 7, 2006 at 01:25 PM in Inside Baseball | Permalink


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I saw Don Barbieri today =). I wish him the best of luck. I predict political success in his future.

Posted by: Gerald | Feb 7, 2006 4:49:57 PM

2572 passed the House today...yay!

Posted by: cuyahoga | Feb 8, 2006 10:02:02 PM

Yeah. One down and another to go.

And yes, Don Barbieri is one of our most promising eastern Washington Democrats. It's exciting to think that we can begin to take back eastern Washington. It's coming. Rural Washington is ready for a change. It's in the air.

Posted by: Lynn | Feb 8, 2006 10:23:18 PM

I caught some of the floor debate on 2572 - I would suggest using the repubs worst nay arguments against them. Some serious tin-foil crackpot, and contradictory junk coming from them at the end.

Posted by: Brian | Feb 8, 2006 11:02:39 PM

Don Barbieri, as a business man, provides his employees decent healthcare. He puts his values where his mouth is. Good on him!

Posted by: Belltowner | Feb 8, 2006 11:05:34 PM

You can return the favor by staying in Barbieri's Red Lion hotels.

Posted by: D Huygens | Feb 9, 2006 9:59:46 AM

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