Quote of the Week:
“Progress toward a more perfect union is neither inevitable nor easy. It is purchased through the dedication and hard work of millions of Americans who are willing to step outside themselves, to look beyond their self-interest, to be ‘prophets of a future not their own.’ It requires sacrifice, selflessness, vision, courage, and stubborn optimism.” – Robert Hubbell, Today’s Edition Newsletter, November 8, 2023.
Campaigns, How Did We Do?
Congratulations to All Our Candidates:
As of today, all of our candidates are on the way to winning their respective positions, aided by all our volunteers who helped make this happen. We are making a difference! Preliminary results as of November 11 @ 4:00 pm.
County Commissioner Positions
Emily Close 59.73%
Terry Ballard 39.95%
Wayne Fournier 50.12%
Vivian Eason 49.53%
Port Commissioner Positions
Jasmine Vasavada 51.66%
Bill McGregor 47.93%
Maggie Sanders 50.27%
Rose Gunderson 49.23%
Sarah Tonge 52.68%
Troy Kirby 46.89%
Olympia Indivisible Volunteer Celebration. If you volunteered for any of our candidate events as a member of the Endorsement, CIT, POAT, CTA, Membership, and Postcard teams, or have canvassed, lit dropped, texted, or phone banked, etc., at any time, please join us.
Stop the Beaver Creek Rezone
The Beaver Creek riparian area from Littlerock to West Rocky Prairie is one of the most valuable biological areas to conserve in rural Thurston County.
Stop the rezone to change housing and farm land over to industrial use.
Background: Beaver Creek Land Use & Rezone Amendment
Action: Send a comment to the Thurston Planning Commission by using the Beaver Creek Comment Form. Following are instructions on how to fill out the form.
Page 1: Line Input
Page 2: Copy and Paste the Suggested Script (feel free to personalize)
I oppose the Beaver Creek proposal because more industrial use of rural lands is inconsistent with the Comp Plan’s policies related to rural character. The land is currently zoned Rural Residential Resource one house to five acres (RRR 1-5) and should remain a place for housing and farms.
The industrial development on the creek threatens nearby residences with flooding and well pollution as well as threatening the salmon populations.
Additionally, since there are no funds to conduct a stakeholder review of the Industrial Lands Study, the Planning Commission and the BoCC must put a hold on the Beaver Creek proposal.
WA State Actions:
Beware of Medicare Advantage Plans
Photo Credit: Marco Verch, Professional Photographer
This is the time of year when many of us are deluged with flyers, letters and TV ads about Medicare Advantage plans. It is open enrollment through December 7th and private insurers, who offer Medicare Advantage, want as much of the public funding that is dedicated to Medicare health. Don't be seduced by the shiny objects these plans offer. Individually, there may be some benefits that you like better than original medicare. But understand that collectively it is an attempt to privatize another of our earned benefits.
Please know that if you call the 1-800 number for your coverage evaluation, you will be talking with an independent insurance agent, not an employee of the insurance company. Independent agents get a $600++ bonus for any retirees they can seduce into switching to an Advantage program and $300 each additional year in perpetuity. You have to ask yourself where these funds come from. They are coming from the transfer of money to the private insurers from the Medicare public fund. This business is so lucrative for the private companies that they can afford to pay bonuses and can stay profitable in lean years by denying claims even if a service is a covered service under original Medicare.
Overhead costs to administer original Medicare is 2%. Medicare advantage insurers are allowed to spend 15% for "administrative" expenses. And they can deny claims based on their own internal practices regardless of physician advice or Medicare standards. These plans are shuttering our rural hospitals.
Action: The Republican party loves these plans because they are an under the radar way to privatize healthcare, and are designed to lead to the total elimination of Medicare. Stay away!!
Bonus Action: Email President Biden and urge him to hold health insurance companies accountable for their practices in Medicare advantage, including predatory marketing tactics, care denials, shrinking networks, and overbilling Medicare by billions of dollars.
Dear President Biden, I urge you to hold health insurance companies accountable for their practices in Medicare advantage, including predatory marketing tactics, care denials, shrinking networks, and overbilling Medicare by billions of dollars.
Nine of the top ten private insurance companies offering Medicare Advantage plans have overbilled Medicare between $12 and $25 billion, taking money away from patients who really need resources. The U.S. government and whistleblowers have accused six of those top companies of outright Medicare fraud. CEOs shouldn’t be getting richer off of taxpayer funds meant to fund health care for seniors and disabled people.
Please protect Medicare by directing your staff to take action against Medicare Advantage companies.
We Need a Leash for Pharmacy Benefit Managers
This action courtesy of Alan Unell Ph.D.
That problem is that pharmacy benefit managers (PBM), drug manufacturers, and insurance companies have taken to jacking up the prices of drugs to cover bribes and kickbacks between themselves.
Drugs that have extra financial incentives are covered on insurance plans while the ones that offer lesser bribes are not.
Senator Bernie Sanders introduced S.1339 - Pharmacy Benefit Manager Reform Act. S.1339 Co-Sponsors are: Bill Cassidy (R-LA); Patty Murray (D-WA); Roger Marshall (R-KS); Mike Braun (R-IN)
Background: Sanders and Cassidy Announce Bipartisan Deal to Lower Prescription Drug Prices
Action: Contact your Senators
I am proud that Senator Murray is a co-sponsor of S.1339 - Pharmacy Benefit Manager Reform Act. I am asking that Senator Cantwell and Senator Murray do everything possible to pass the bill.
Pharmacy benefit managers are causing consumers to pay more and in some cases be denied a low cost drug.
Have You Scheduled This Event?
Action Cafe 2023, Every Monday at Noon
OI members meet, make new friends, and take actions together. Every Cafe comes with a side order of live music and a heapin’ helpin’ of good cheer!
Cafe patrons receive an email on Sunday with a sneak-peek at what we'll do at the cafe the next day. On Monday morning, Chef Lisa will send you a pdf "Menu" which has links to the actions we'll take together at the Cafe.
Action: Register HERE. We will send you a Zoom link and tomorrow morning, Chef Lisa will send your "menu."
Your Work Pays Off:
Olympia Indivisible Members pulled out all the stops! We wrote many Letters to the Editor in support of our endorsed candidates! Good Job!
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