Health Care Access in the Washington Legislature -
Bills of Interest
As of April 25, 2013
The cutoff date for bills to pass out of both houses of the Legislature was April 17, with the exception of resolving differences between the houses and bills considered necessary to implement the budget (NTIB). Our Update includes only those bills that have survived the cutoff , and those that may be NTIB - generally pending in a fiscal committee of either the House or Senate). Most bills that have passed still need to be signed by the Governor.
The Regular Session of the Legislature will end Sunday April 28. The House and Senate have now each passed a budget, but they are very different . See analysis from the Washington Budget and Policy C enter.
We plan to send out a comparison of health care program budget proposals of the Governor, Senate, and House .
Because of these differences, it seems very likely that the budget will not be resolved in the remaining few days of the Regular Session, and the Governor will call a Special Session.
We hope you find these updates helpful. You are welcome to circulate them. Special thanks go to Nissa Iversen, NoHLA's law clerk, for her excellent work helping prepare these materials.
SB 5914 Would Disrupt Healthy Options
and Apple Health for Kids
NoHLA voices concern about Senate Bill 5914 that would require medicaid enrollies to get coverage through the Exchange.
Senator Maria Cantwell calls for Federal Basic Health Program Option as Part of Health Reform
With strong support from Northwest Health Law Advocates, Washington State continues to lead the way in calling for the Federal Basic Health Program, a state option under health reform to provide more affordable health coverage to residents with low incomes who do not qualify for Medicaid. For over two years, NoHLA has led state and national efforts to implement this option, which will build on the success of our state Basic Health plan.
Now Washington’s own Senator Maria Cantwell, who originally called for the Federal Basic Health Program option as part of health reform, is urging the Dept. of Health & Human Services to implement the program. In a press conference that included NoHLA and friends, Sen. Cantwell announced a new commitment that will allow states to implement the option in 2015. (See videos to the right). NoHLA applauds this development and is now working to implement an interim solution for 2014.
Stakeholder letter to HHS
on Federal Basic Health Option
Please read and share a letter sent to HHS Secretary Sebelius and Cindy Mann at CMS regarding the federal Basic Health Option from stakeholders in Washington State.
We appreciate the recent news from Health & Human Services indicating the timing of guidance and implementation of a Federal Basic Health Program option afforded by Section 1331 of the Affordable Care Act. We have been ardent supporters of this option because of our long-standing support of our current Washington Basic Health Program, the foundation for this option, and because we anticipate that it will improve affordability, reduce uninsurance, mitigate churn between programs, and improve continuity of care and coverage for the eligible low-income population.
The Supreme Court Decision on Health Reform – what does it mean?
The Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act but limited the 2014 Medicaid expansion by allowing states who refuse the expansion to continue receiving federal funding for their existing programs. Here’s a quick list of what continues to be in the ACA. Implementation is proceeding in Washington State, including the Medicaid expansion. Click to read the National Health Law Program analysis of the Supreme Court decision.
Health Reform at Work in Washington
If you're new to health reform and want to know how it will impact you and your family, try our resource page-- especially our newest fact sheet on how health reform is already at work for women in our state. Then, join in solidarity with women from around the country to deliver the message: "I Will Not Be Denied! Protect Women's Health Care.
Thank you to everyone who participated in yesterday's giveBIG event. We do not know the Stretch amount yet but we do know with your help we raised over $3,600 for health justice!
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
"I am a Medicaid and Medicare recipient and a grassroots activist and leader. NoHLA represents people who otherwise would not have a voice in the legislative and rule making process. NoHLA is a leader in the fight for a better health care system, which is so desperately needed." ~ Suzanne C. Stauffer