Gov. Inslee signs bill to expand dental health care on reservations

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law Wednesday that could open up access to dental health care on reservations. Tribal communities that have little to no access to dental health care can now see dental therapists in reservations get federal funding under SB 5079. Bill’s Passage Helps Washington State Tribal Communities Access Dental Care...Read More

Bipartisan telemedicine bills get on Senate floor calendar

Two bills that could expand telemedicine’s reach in Washington have made it through cutoff and secured a spot on the Senate floor calendar. SB 5457 would make it so health plans would run at the same rates for telemedicine services as comparable in-person services. It also allows sites that provide telemedicine to have negotiating power...Read More

State senator asks U.S. AG to intervene in King County’s safe-injection site plan

As King County officials work to open two safe-injection sites, state Sen. Mark Miloscia, R-Federal Way, is working at the state and federal level to block the sites. Miloscia’s bill that would ban sites where heroin users can safely inject around medical professionals, has passed out of committee, according to a press release from his office....Read More

Paid family leave gets another hearing in House committee, no vote

A bill that would provide a funding mechanism for Washington’s paid family leave statute was heard, but didn’t get a vote at the House Appropriations committee hearing Thursday. “As most of you are probably aware, there was a framework for family leave insurance enacted in 2007,” said Joan Elgee, counselor to the Labor and Workforce...Read More

Another plan to reduce lead contamination gets a hearing in House committee

A bill that could mandate installing lead-removing water filters in public schools was heard in the House Environment committee Monday afternoon Rep. Gerry Pollet, D-Seattle, said he sponsored the bill to ensure children got safe drinking water at school. “This bill proposes that we use the American Academy of Pediatricians recommended action level of one...Read More

Bipartisan bills could expand telemedicine’s reach in Washington

Washington patients could receive telemedicine services from their own home and pay the same rate for telemedicine services as they would for in-person services under two bipartisan bills heard in committee Thursday morning. Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, is sponsoring two bills she says can expand telemedicine services, and help rural patients get health care from...Read More

Column: Will safe-injection sites ease substance abuse in King County?

After months of deliberating, a task force created by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine recommended building two heroin injection sites—one in Seattle and one outside the city—last September. King County Sheriff John Urquhart has pledged he will not arrest anyone visiting these sites to use heroin under the guidance of...Read More

Uncertainty at the state level on how Congress plans to replace ACA

State lawmakers said they don’t know how to prepare the state for an Affordable Care Act replacement, because they don’t know what that could even look like. In the respective Democratic and Republican leadership press conferences Tuesday, state lawmakers said they were focused on state issues since they don’t know what to expect from Congress...Read More

Lawmakers hear legislation that would fund paid family leave

A previous version of this story said that benefits would be paid out to employees working at companies with eight or more employees, but under the bill in its form as of Jan. 19, the benefit would actually extend to employees at all companies. A bill that could make paid family leave a reality for...Read More

State lawmakers ask for Medicaid data ahead of potential ACA repeal

It’s not clear how people covered through the Affordable Care Act will get insurance if the ACA is repealed by Congress, so state senators asked the Health Care Authority for more data about the impact of Medicaid expansion Monday. A now Republican-led Congress is saying they will repeal the ACA. GOP leaders are saying they will...Read More