H-4926              _______________________________________________


                                         SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL NO. 6834



State of Washington                               51st Legislature                              1990 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Financial Institutions & Insurance (originally sponsored by Senators Sellar, Conner, West, McDonald and Bauer)



Read first time 2/2/90.



AN ACT Relating to the establishment of a commission to study the factors affecting the cost of health insurance; creating new sections; making an appropriation; and declaring an emergency.




          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.     The legislature finds that the increasing cost of health insurance has a substantial impact on the availability and quality of health care to the people of the state of Washington.  This situation has reached crisis proportions with broad, sweeping implications for the future of the citizens of this state.  The legislature further finds that the factors that contribute to the cost of health insurance require further study before this crisis can be addressed.  The legislature further finds that the study should be conducted by a commission of people with diversified expertise familiar with all aspects of health care and insurance as well as those impacted by the cost of health insurance.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.     The senate financial institutions and insurance committee, in cooperation with the house financial institutions and insurance committee, as well as the house and senate health care committees, shall establish a commission on health insurance costs to undertake a review of the many factors influencing the cost of health insurance in the state of Washington.  The commission shall have as its primary goal the identification of the changes that will be needed in current practices to allow the purchase of a health insurance product that is affordable.  The commission shall identify all current laws that affect the cost of health insurance and shall make recommendations for legislative changes.  The commission shall identify any and all other factors contributing to increasing health insurance costs and make recommendations for changes.  The commission shall report its findings to the legislature not later than January 1, 1991.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.     The commission shall include the chairs of the senate and house financial institutions and insurance committees and the chairs of the senate health and long-term care and the house health care committees and include representatives of health insurers, providers, and purchasers and representatives of small and large business, as well as state regulators that affect the delivery of health care, and any other groups impacted by the cost of health insurance.  The insurance commissioner of the state of Washington shall be a member of the commission, and the commissioner's staff shall assist the task force by whatever means possible.  The commission established by this section shall be dissolved June 1, 1991.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.     The sum of one hundred thousand dollars, or as much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated from the general fund to the commission established by this act for the biennium ending June 30, 1991, to carry out the purposes of this act.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.     This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately.