H-4188.1  _______________________________________________





State of Washington      57th Legislature     2002 Regular Session


By House Committee on Health Care (originally sponsored by Representatives Cody, Campbell, Schual‑Berke, Conway and Kagi)


Read first time 02/07/2002.  Referred to Committee on .

Creating the Health Care Insurance Options Working Group.

    WHEREAS, Access to health care services is an unavoidable need of all human beings; and

    WHEREAS, The primary method used to pay for care is health insurance whether financed by private or public funds; and

    WHEREAS, The cost of health care insurance is rising at three times the rate of inflation; and

    WHEREAS, Health insurance costs have a significant impact on the solvency of state and local governments; and

    WHEREAS, Fourteen percent of citizens nationally and about five hundred thousand citizens in the state are without health care insurance; and

    WHEREAS, Employers, whether large or small, public or private, are finding it increasingly difficult to find and provide health care benefits to employees; and

    WHEREAS, Employees and their families are being forced to bear an increasing portion of this rising health care insurance burden; and

    WHEREAS, Health care providers are being forced to abandon the healing professions due to deficient compensation and the growing complexity of health care regulation; and

    WHEREAS, Health insurance carriers struggle to remain competitive in an increasingly complex market;

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, By the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring, That a Health Care Insurance Options Working Group be created to be composed of twenty-three members appointed as follows:

    The Insurance Commissioner shall chair the working group and shall, in addition, be responsible for coordinating its administrative and ministerial duties.

    The following members are to be appointed by the Governor:

    A representative of a major state corporation, selected in consultation with the Association of Washington Business;

    A representative of small businesses, to be selected in consultation with the Governor's Committee on Small Business;

    Three representatives of health care insurance consumers, one of whom shall represent the interests of people without health insurance;

    Two representatives of organized labor, to be selected in consultation with the Washington State Labor Council, one of whom shall represent the interests of health insurance coverage administered through Taft-Hartley trusts;

    Three members selected to represent health care providers, including a hospital representative, selected in consultation with appropriate health care provider organizations;

    One representative of local public health departments and districts;

    Two representatives of health insurance carriers;

    A representative of the health care insurance agents and brokers;  and

    A Governor's representative.

    Four members shall be selected to represent the Legislature, to be chosen by each of the four caucuses.

    The Secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services, the Secretary of the Department of Health, and the Administrator of the Washington State Health Care Authority shall serve as ex officio members of the working group; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Health Care Insurance Options Working Group hereby created be responsible for examining the privately and publicly funded health care insurance system in the State of Washington and for the development of recommendations for its improvement.  The working group shall seek testimony and information from a broad range of health care stakeholders, and actively solicit public improvement in a community meeting process to build a consensus on the values to be used as a guide to improving the privately and publicly funded health care insurance system.  The working group shall seek grant funds for the community meeting process, and is encouraged to coordinate its efforts with ongoing efforts such as those of the Washington health foundation.  The working group shall prepare a report including its findings and recommendations and transmit this report to the Legislature and the Governor no later than January 1, 2004.


                            --- END ---