Health Care Access in the Washington Legislature -
Bills of Interest
As of April 25, 2013
The cutoff date for bills to pass out of both houses of the Legislature was April 17, with the exception of resolving differences between the houses and bills considered necessary to implement the budget (NTIB). Our Update includes only those bills that have survived the cutoff, and those that may be NTIB. Most bills that have passed still need to be signed by the Governor.
The Regular Session of the Legislature ended April 28th. The House and Senate each have now each passed a budget, but they are very different. See our analysis - Google doc | PDF - from the Washington Budget and Policy Center. The Governor has called a special session, which began May 13th.
Senator Maria Cantwell calls for Federal Basic Health Program Option as Part of Health Reform
With strong support from Northwest Health Law Advocates, Washington State continues to lead the way in calling for the Federal Basic Health Program, a state option under health reform to provide more affordable health coverage to residents with low incomes who do not qualify for Medicaid. For over two years, NoHLA has led state and national efforts to implement this option, which will build on the success of our state Basic Health plan.
Now Washington’s own Senator Maria Cantwell, who originally called for the Federal Basic Health Program option as part of health reform, is urging the Dept. of Health & Human Services to implement the program. In a press conference that included NoHLA and friends, Sen. Cantwell announced a new commitment that will allow states to implement the option in 2015. (See videos to the right). NoHLA applauds this development and is now working to implement an interim solution for 2014.
The Supreme Court Decision on Health Reform – what does it mean?
The Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act but limited the 2014 Medicaid expansion by allowing states who refuse the expansion to continue receiving federal funding for their existing programs. Here’s a quick list of what continues to be in the ACA. Implementation is proceeding in Washington State, including the Medicaid expansion. Click to read the National Health Law Program analysis of the Supreme Court decision.
Health Reform at Work in Washington
If you're new to health reform and want to know how it will impact you and your family, try our resource page-- especially our newest fact sheet on how health reform is already at work for women in our state. Then, join in solidarity with women from around the country to deliver the message: "I Will Not Be Denied! Protect Women's Health Care.
Northwest Health Law Advocates (NoHLA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to achieve a seamless and equitable health care system, in which individuals are assured of basic rights and protections, and continuity of care, regardless of who they are and the type of health insurance they have.
Our work focuses on issues of concern to low-income individuals and families, particularly in Washington State. Please see NoHLA Advocacy for information about NoHLA's recent work.
NoHLA's work involves:
- Legal consultation to attorneys and advocates on public health insurance programs
- Legal and policy analysis
- Training and community education
- Legislative and administrative advocacy
"I am a Medicaid and Medicare recipient and a grassroots activist and leader. NoHLA represents people who otherwise would not have a voice in the legislative and rule making process. NoHLA is a leader in the fight for a better health care system, which is so desperately needed." ~ Suzanne C. Stauffer