Health Care

WPC's Center for Health Care develops patient-centered solutions to reduce costs and improve the availability and quality of health care for businesses and individuals, providing the only detailed, independent critique of health care issues available in the Northwest.

What's New

The Non-Competition Health Plan

May 17, 2009 in Publications

This Op-Ed appeared in The Seattle Times and The Washington Examiner (Washington DC)

New Study Presents Recommendations to Reform Medicaid

in Press releases

Seattle – A new study released today by Washington Policy Center (WPC) raises a number of concerns about the Medicaid program and offers solutions for reform. Structural problems and an open-ended program budget are combining to create a rising tide that threatens to swamp all other government expenditures. At the same time, the entitlement has not demonstrably improved the health of the poor.

A Review of the Medicaid Program

May 6, 2009 in Publications

The Medicaid program began in 1965 as an accompaniment to the Medicare Act. Medicaid has always been an entitlement, with no defined limit on the number of beneficiaries or the cost of the program. As long as a person meets the legal criteria for participation in the program, that person receives Medicaid benefits, regardless of the cost to the government. Medicaid is now the largest health insurance system in the United States and is the largest means-tested health care program in the world.

A Review of the Medicaid Program

May 6, 2009 in Publications

The Medicaid program began in 1965 with the passage of title XIX of the Social Security Act. It has always been an entitlement, with no defined limit on the number of beneficiaries or the cost of the program. As long as a person meets the legal criteria for participation in the program, that person receives Medicaid benefits, regardless of total cost. From the beginning, a link was established between Medicaid eligibility and the welfare program, Aid to Families with Dependant Children (AFDC). Medicaid is now the largest health insurance system in the United States and is the largest means-tested health care program in the world.

Statement on Health Reform

April 6, 2009 in Publications

President Obama repeatedly has reassured the American people, “If you’ve got health care already, and probably the majority of you do, then you can keep your plan if you are satisfied with it. You can keep your choice of doctor.” Research shows 82 percent of Americans rate the health care they receive as good to excellent.

Private Legislative Session Update Reception with WPC Research Center Directors

March 26, 2009 in Events
Date: 
Thursday, March 26th, 2009
Time: 
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Place: 
Bellevue, WA

Washington Policy Center held a private reception with WPC board members and other key supporters on Thursday, March 26th in Bellevue. WPC’s research center directors discussed the issues being debated in Olympia as we entered the homestretch of our state’s Legislative Session. Topics included the state budget shortfall, transportation, small business issues, education and the environment.

Watch the videos:

Introduction by WPC President Dann Mead Smith

Analysis of SB 5945: Creating a Washington Health Partnership Plan

March 7, 2009 in Publications

SB 5945 would create a Washington Health Partnership plan intended to provide comprehensive coverage to all residents of the state. However, the plan proposed in this bill is not the same as the one outlined in SB 6333 from 2008. The current bill calls for a further study group to select “a health care reform proposal to be considered for legislative action.”

Proposed Bill Would Allow State Program Managers to Change Doctors’ Prescriptions

March 7, 2009 in Publications

The legislature is considering a bill, SB 5892, that would allow state program managers to alter a doctor’s prescription for patients covered by state-subsidized health programs when a cheaper substitute is available. The bill would also prolong patient suffering by requiring them to fail to respond to a state-prescribed drug before being allowed access to the medicine prescribed by their doctor.

Expanded “Family Security Act” Will Expand Government Benefits and Raise Payroll Taxes

March 7, 2009 in Publications

Legislators are proposing to expand and fund the Paid Family Leave Act, which was passed into law in 2007. As originally passed, the program would send qualified recipients a check for $250 per week for up to five weeks—$1,250 total. Beneficiaries of the new entitlement would be eligible if their family had recently given birth to, or adopted, a baby.

Enacting a Core Benefits Health Plan for Young Adults

February 7, 2009 in Publications

The legislature is considering a bill, SB 5052, designed to reduce the number of uninsured in Washington by lowering the cost of private health insurance for people ages 19 to 34, the age group most likely to lack health coverage. The bill would allow people in this age group to access a core benefits health plan in Washington. The bill was introduced, but not passed, in the 2007 and 2008 sessions, and has been reintroduced in slightly revised form for 2009.