ESSB 6333

C 311 L 08
Synopsis as Enacted

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).

Senate Committee on Health & Long-Term Care
Senate Committee on Ways & Means
House Committee on Health Care & Wellness
House Committee on Appropriations

Background: A variety of health reform proposals are under consideration across the country and in the state, ranging from reforming health care purchasing, expanding access to insurance products, redesigning insurance products to be more affordable, or providing universal coverage for all residents. Many states considering a range of reform efforts have formed commissions or citizen work groups for broad discussion of potential options.

Summary: The Legislature must contract with a consultant to evaluate a number of health care reform proposals, including: (1) a proposal that modifies insurance regulations to address specific groups that have lower rates of coverage such as small employers and young adults; (2) a proposal that includes the components of the Massachusetts legislation to establish a health insurance connector; (3) a proposal to provide a comprehensive, standardized benefit package for all residents; and (4) a proposal to establish a single-payer system similar to the health care system in Canada. In addition, the consultant must review the actuarial analysis of the Insurance Commissioner's proposal for a guaranteed benefit plan. The results of the evaluation are due to the Governor, the Legislature, and the work group by December 15, 2008.

After January 30, 2009, the Governor must make appointments to the Washington Citizens' Work Group on Health Care Reform. Members include nine citizens representing business, labor, health care providers, consumer groups, and experts in health care financing and health care ethics, and four legislators, representing each caucus of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The work group must review the analysis of the health reform proposals and engage in a public process that may include public forums, invitational meetings with community leaders or other interested individuals and organizations, and web-based communication. Staff support for the work group will be provided by the Office of Financial Management, and the work group may hire up to two staff. The work group must submit a final report by November 1, 2009, with a summary of the public engagement process and the work group recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature.

Votes on Final Passage:

Senate      31   17   
House      63   31   (House amended)
Senate      28   18   (Senate concurred)

Effective: June 12, 2008