The proposal aims in part to stabilize the Health Benefit Exchange, which has had to deal with double-digit premium increases and attempts by congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
Governor Jay Inslee and Democratic lawmakers announced Tuesday the bill on a new "public option" health care plan as part of the Washington Health Insurance Exchange.
The proposal, which Inslee says is the first step towards universal health care, is partly aimed at stabilizing the exchange, which has experienced double-digit difficulties. premium increase and attempts by Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
"We are proposing to the state legislature to have a public option available throughout the state of Washington to increase our ability to move forward on the pathway." of universal health in the state of Washington, "said the governor, who is considering a run for president in 2020.
Called Cascade Care legislation, the plan would be offered in every county.
According to the proposal summary, the state health care authority should contract with at least one health insurance provider to offer qualified health coverage for the program. Washington health benefit exchange.
The plan would be designed with transparent and consistent franchises, copays and co-insurance, according to the executive summary, and would be "competing on strong pricing, supplier networks, customer service and quality."
Cascade Care would not only help stabilize the individual health insurance market and prevent the rise of deductibles, but would constitute a step toward a coverage for all state residents, said the representative. the state, Eileen Cody, D-Seattle. "It's the step we can take to make sure we offer our citizens a plan that looks like Medicare," said Cody.
Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said it would be difficult, but necessary, to enact the law, particularly for people buying health insurance in the individual market and not being able to claim grant.
"It will be a challenge to promulgate. It will be a challenge to implement. But it's worth it because there are people who are still suffering, "said Kreidler.
Cody said insurance companies are aware of the bill and are not "pleased" with the plan.
Inslee Proposed state operating budget for 2019-2021 provide $ 500,000 to fund initial work to implement the public option. After that, legislators and officials should determine how much money is going to be needed.
At present, 14 counties in Washington have only one insurance option offered in exchange, according to Jason McGill, senior policy advisor at Inslee. These are the counties of Asotin, Chelan, Clallam, Douglas, Ferry, Garfield, Grays Harbor, Island, Okanogan, Pacific, Pend Oreille, San Juan, Skagit and Wahkiakum.
The legislation also provides grants to help families and low-income people pay for health insurance. The state should develop a subsidy plan to ensure that consumers spend 10% or less of their income on premiums.
Tuesday's proposal does not fund this part of the legislation, according to McGill.
Democratic leaders this election season have often talked about health issues, including the expansion of health coverage or making it more affordable. The bill comes at a time when Inslee is looking to improve its profile.
At a press conference announcing the proposal for a health plan, Inslee was also asked about the fight against climate change, a problem that he defends. He added that it was not useful to have a "climate scientist" at the White House and that the federal government needed to work with the state of Washington to reduce carbon emissions.
Inslee then decided to deal with the partial closure of the federal government, stating, "We have no urgency in national security, but we have an emergency presidential insecurity. Because this president has not been safe enough to stand up to Ann Coulter and all those who want bad stickers, the ability of people to serve in the Coast Guard, in our national parks and in whatever government Federal made for us. "