The proposal aims in part to help stabilize the Heath 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.

Joseph O. Sullivan

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.

Part of the proposal is to stabilize the exchange, which has had to deal with a double-digit situation. premium increase and attempts by Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

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 as Inslee seeks to improve his profile as he considers a candidacy for the 2020 presidential election.

Under the law, the plan would be available in all counties.

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."

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.