House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
|Health Care & Wellness Committee|
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Establishing a citizens' work group on health care.
Sponsors: Senate Committee on Health & Long-Term Care (originally sponsored by Senators Keiser, Kohl-Welles, Marr and McAuliffe).
Brief Summary of Engrossed Substitute Bill
Hearing Date: 2/25/08
Staff: Dave Knutson (786-7146).
Over the past 20 years, Washington has enacted several policy and budget initiatives to extend health coverage to individuals and families who did not have access to affordable health insurance. The creation of the Basic Health Plan, the expansion of eligibility for the Medicaid program, the creation of the "Cover All Children" program, and the Health Insurance Partnership all combine to extend publically subsidized health coverage to previously uninsured groups. There is still a sizeable population of individuals in Washington who are not covered by health insurance and do not have access to affordable health coverage. There is not a consensus about how best to provide access to affordable, quality health coverage to all Washingtonians. Options to provide increased access to affordable health coverage range from private sector modifications of insurance regulation to public sector expansions of existing publically subsidized programs.
Summary of Bill:
A seventeen member work group including nine citizens appointed by the Governor and eight legislators will engage in a public process of considering health reform proposals. The work group will report their findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature by December 1, 2008. The Health Care Authority will contract for an independent analysis of five health reform proposals ranging from a limited benefit health coverage plan to a single payer proposal that will provide universal coverage.
Fiscal Note: Available for SSB 6333 and requested for ESSB 6333 on February 21, 2008.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.