S-3509.1  _______________________________________________





State of Washington   57th Legislature        2002 Regular Session


By Senators Thibaudeau, McAuliffe, Parlette and Kohl‑Welles


Read first time 01/15/2002.  Referred to Committee on Health & Long‑Term Care.

Creating the Health Care Insurance Options Working Group.

    WHEREAS, Health care is an unavoidable need of all human beings; and

    WHEREAS, The primary method used to pay for care is health insurance; 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 government; and

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

    WHEREAS, Businesses both large and small 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 Senate, the House of Representatives concurring, That a Health Care Insurance Options Working Group be created to be composed of twenty 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;

    A representative of organized labor, to be selected in consultation with the Washington State Labor Council;

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

    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 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 health care insurance system in the State of Washington and for the development of recommendations for its improvement.  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.


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