The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, was signed into law in 2010. It was one year ago today that the state and federal health insurance exchanges began enrollment. Washington state is one of 15 states that established its own exchange. The other 35 states elected to use the federal exchange.
In a growing trend, more Democrats are expressing doubt and skepticism about Initiative 1351, the class size reduction initiative put on the November ballot by executives at the powerful teachers union, the Washington Education Association (WEA).
After months of doubt, threats and controversy, bus riders and taxpayers finally have some good news: the King County Councilmembers unanimously voted to stop the bus service cuts they had planned for 2015. County officials now say they will limit their cut to a total of 151,000 hours of bus service, instead of the 600,000 bus hours they threatened earlier this year, citing windfall sales tax revenues and better management practices at Metro.
Environmental policy provides numerous examples where trendy politics and ignorance trump sound science. The City of Seattle's latest action to protect honeybees is just the latest example.
Taking a step called "very conservative," the City of Seattle announced it will no longer use a class of pesticides called neonicitinoids. The resolution, which is boilerplate language from other cities, claims:
Yesterday, the Obama Administration released data that shows hospitals are projected to save $5.7 billion in uncompensated care costs because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare. The majority of the savings comes from the Medicaid expansion and is anticipated to occur in those state that chose to expand the program for low-income individuals.
KOMO News Radio reported yesterday that Evergreen Heights Elementary in Auburn is having trouble meeting the legislature’s mandate to reduce class sizes. The school does not have the room. The school’s principal has instead been forced to put classes in the library, the gym and in a new portable. The library is now off-limits to students during class time. The gym has been divided into two classes, so students will no longer be able to take gym classes inside.
A central argument of the Governor's push for climate policy has been that it will create jobs and help the economy. Along those lines, the Governor's climate workgroup recently released an economic study that showed positive economic results from one potential climate policy.
Now, however, the economists who produced those results admit they have "no confidence" in the accuracy of the projections.
Last week, WPC's Health Policy Analyst, Dr. Roger Stark, testified at a Congressional hearing, conducted by the Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology, to examine the ongoing problems with the Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) exchanges.
In a surprise move Tuesday, the 43rd District Democrats in Seattle refused to endorse the Washington Education Association union's class-size ballot measure, Initiative 1351. State senator Jamie Pedersen (D-43, Capitol Hill) spoke against the measure, warning it would hurt legislative efforts to fund the schools in response to the McCleary decision.
This Sunday, environmental groups will be in the streets of Seattle, Portland, New York and elsewhere, to promote action on climate change. The left-wing group, Climate Solutions, promises it will "change everything!"
The Washington State Hospital Association released financials for the first half of 2014 as reported in The Seattle Times today. The big news was a decrease of $154 million in charity care for hospitals in the state. Hospitals believe this 30% decrease in charity care is a result of more people being insured through Obamacare. Specifically, the Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid for more people in the low-income demographic.
Members of Metro Transit’s Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 voted to turn down a fair contract that would have provided them with a 2% pay raise over three years, The Seattle Times reports today.
The contract offer would have provided a fair pay raise, while allowing King County leaders to preserve more bus service for the public without raising regressive taxes. Still, 66% of union members rejected the offer, saying it was not generous enough.