Esther Wanning, MFT
Esther joined the campaign for single payer in 1994 when Prop. 186, which designed a single-payer system for California, was on the ballot. Prop. 186 lost massively, but it inspired today’s movement. In 1995, Esther was a founding member of Health Care for All-CA (HCA-CA) and the founder of the Marin chapter.
She is receiving the Therapist’s Single Payer Activist award for her long dedication to the single payer movement. Esther’s work for Single Payer began long before she became a licensed psychotherapist. Esther directed Health Care for All-Marin until 2011, while the chapter grew large and thousands of Marinites learned about the only feasible system for universal health care. Multiple Marin entities, starting with the County of Marin, endorsed single payer. Esther set up forums, led parades, spoke at meetings, took contingents to lobby in Sacramento, wrote opinion pieces, tabled at farmers’ markets, and most notably, attracted enough others to the organization that when she stepped down, she was able to turn the chapter over to splendidly competent leaders.
When she first started her single-payer work, she was the editor of the Williams-Sonoma catalog and a professional writer. In 1999 she returned to school, becoming a licensed MFT in 2006. She now has plenty of first-hand experience with trying to collect from insurance companies. She remains active with Health Care for All-Marin.