Health Care Access in the Washington Legislature
2014 Session Summary
NoHLA’s second release of the 2014 session on pending bills in the Washington State Legislature that relate to health care access. The chart is available via Google Docs or PDF (contains links to bills). You are welcome to circulate them.
Thanks to Juhie Kumar, our NoHLA volunteer lawyer and public health student, and NoHLA staff members Sarah Kwiatkowski and Daniel Gross, for their help in preparing these materials.
This chart includes bills that met the deadline to pass out of either the House or Senate, so they are continuing their journey in the opposite house. Friday 2/28 is the deadline for these bills to pass out of the first committee, and Monday 3/3 they must pass out of the fiscal committees. This summary also includes bills that may be considered exempt from these deadlines if they are “Necessary to Implement the Budget” (NTIB). The Senate and House proposed budgets are expected to come out next week.
The session began on January 13 and is scheduled to end on March 13.
Local Organic Farmer Carrie Little on the Importance of Affordable Health Coverage
Carrie's Guest Opinion in Crosscut praises the new healthcare system and urges lawmakers to support the Basic health Option.
NW Organic Farmer Jeremy's Message: Affordable Health Coverage is Ripe and Ready. Sign Up Now!
As special as this place is to Jeremy, there are many physical hazards to producing wholesome food for the rest of us. And before January 2014, Jeremy’s income was not enough to even consider purchasing health coverage for his family.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Jeremy signed up and qualified for Apple Health. He now has a doctor in nearby Orting. Read Julie Gonzales-Corbin's blog
Seattle Chef Thrilled with her New Health Coverage
“This relieves so much anxiety,” says Kristi. “I’m really excited and appreciative of the Affordable Care Act. For the first time in my life, I'm beginning to trust that my health needs will be taken care of.”
Seattle small businesswoman, Kristi, gets affordable health care at long last. In January she visited the doctor and got an IUD, free of charge. Now Kristi has peace of mind because she knows she can count on her new coverage, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
Adult Dental is back!
Thanks to a strong advocacy effort last year, the Washington Legislature restored dental services to all Medicaid adults, including the new expansion group, effective January 1, 2014. Adult dental benefits had been severely limited in 2011 as a result of recessionary budget cuts (children’s dental benefits were not affected). This fact sheet contains information about what’s covered.
Coverage is Here!
New Insurance Options in Washington
Starting October 1, 2013, Washington State residents can apply for new health coverage options. Read our overview of Health Reform in Washington State and our more detailed guide to Coverage Options in Washington State. Then visit www.wahealthplanfinder.org to explore your options and sign up.
Northwest Health Law Advocates (NoHLA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to achieve a seamless and equitable health care system, in which individuals are assured of basic rights and protections, and continuity of care, regardless of who they are and the type of health insurance they have.
Our work focuses on issues of concern to low-income individuals and families, particularly in Washington State. Please see NoHLA Advocacy for information about NoHLA's recent work.
NoHLA's work involves:
- Legal consultation to attorneys and advocates on public health insurance programs
- Legal and policy analysis
- Training and community education
- Legislative and administrative advocacy
"Within weeks of NoHLA's Medicaid training, I was able to use the information you taught us to identify numerous cases in which families were wrongly denied coverage—and to bring those cases forward to get them resolved.
By giving all of us tools and knowledge to successfully advocate for people, NoHLA has impacted so many lives – making healthcare accessible and helping families avoid financial disaster."
~ Cathy Aby, Health Educator,Public Health – Seattle & King County