In contrast to the ongoing problems at the federal health care exchange website, Washington State has been singled out by national media as one of the best examples of doing it right. But now in addition to the shutdown and other minor problems during its launch week, the State Health Benefit Exchange has discovered a new problem. At the HBE Board meeting on Wednesday, staff acknowledged that the health insurance subsidy calculator was not working properly.
On June 27th the Washington Policy Center held its annual Health Care Conference at SeaTac. The keynote speaker at Lunch was Avik Roy, the Forbes Magazine health care columnist. After two weeks, TVW has finally posted the link for the presentation, “The Conservative Case for Universal Coverage.” Avik characterized traditional conservative opposition to universal coverage as a “mistake.” He then proceeded to lay out a plan that would build on the new federal reforms to build a better approach to health care.
The State Health Benefit Exchange Board met in SeaTac on Wednesday and reluctantly voted to only offer small business group health insurance plans in two or three counties for its first year. There will still be a large number of small business plans statewide offered outside the Exchange. None of this impacts the individual health insurance market where there will be a robust number of plans available both inside and outside the exchange.
Libertarian Party of Washington Calls on Legislature to Repeal Medicaid Expansion, Nullify Affordable Care Act
The Libertarian Party of Washington chose to publish this legislative report for the purpose of informing legislators in Olympia about the problems and costs associated with the Affordable Care Act and its companion: Medicaid Expansion 2014.
The Governor’s Office made it official on Tuesday, Bob Crittenden, M.D., and Jason McGill, J.D., were named as Governor Inslee’s policy team on health care. Senior Policy Advisor Crittenden will oversee health care reform, while Policy Advisor McGill will focus on all other health care and long term care issues.
It was a full house on Friday as the House Health Care Committee met for a public hearing on several bills including House Bill 1085 which would establish the Washington State Health Security Health Trust. This would be an alternative to federal health care reform and extend health insurance coverage to all state citizens.
On Tuesday the 35th annual March for Life and Rally was held at the Capitol. The turnout was extraordinary, one of the larger demonstrations in the last few years.
With one of the larger individual health insurance plans already approved for a 23% premium increase in 2013 and the centerpiece of state health care reform, the Health Benefit Exchange, asking for over $50 million per year to operate, questions are being raised. The Exchange Board met on Friday to discuss the concerns and recommend funding options for the Exchange.