U.S. Supreme Court Ruling On Home Healthcare Workers Reverberates In WA

The rights of Washington state home-care workers to opt out of union membership has become a contentious issue between an Olympia-based think tank and the Service Employees International Union, which recently negotiated a contract that raises the average hourly pay for care workers to at least $14 by 2017.

State Hustling To End Psychiatric Warehousing

With only a couple weeks to go before a state Supreme Court order bans the warehousing of psychiatric patients, state officials are scrambling to expand the number of beds and hire new mental-health workers.

‘Who’s Getting Fired?’ Lawmaker Asks Health Benefit Exchange CEO After Recent Glitch

Some Washington lawmakers on Tuesday expressed obvious displeasure in the state’s Health Benefit Exchange, the marketplace more than 1 million residents have used to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act, after the exchange’s website went down on Saturday, the first day of the new enrollment period.

Health Benefit Exchange Asks to Spend $147M in ’15-17, Close Budget Shortfall

Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange, the state-run marketplace hundreds of thousands of residents have used to enroll in healthcare plans under the federal Affordable Care Act, is asking the Legislature to raise its spending authority from $80 million to $147 million for the 2015-2017 biennium.

In Our View: Acidification Harms Oceans

We can pay for it now by dealing with the issue, or later, as problem worsens. As early as 2005, oyster larvae in the Northwest began experiencing a large die-off, and two years ago scientists linked decreasing ocean pH levels to carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants, automobiles and other human sources.

Friction At Board Meeting As Health Exchange Problems Continue

“The system fixes that were implemented have not resolved these defects, and instead, the number of detrimentally affected accounts has grown.” In a letter to Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board Members dated August 12, Premera Senior Vice-President Kitti Cramer provided details showing the health insurance premium aggregation and termination notice problems at the Exchange are far larger than previously thought.