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 Impact of the National Health Care Reform Law on Medicare and Medicaid in Washington State

June 6, 2010 in Publications

In March, President Obama’s health care reform law was passed with narrow partisan support and with significant bipartisan opposition. By contrast, when Medicare and Medicaid were enacted in 1965 these two social programs received broad support in both parties.

The Impact of National Health Care Law on Businesses in Washington State

June 6, 2010 in Publications

After fourteen months of debate, and with narrow partisan support and substantial bipartisan opposition in Congress, President Obama signed major health care reform legislation into law.  Polls consistently show the President’s health plan is unpopular with the public.  At no point in the history of the United States has such broad, wide-sweeping social legislation become law by such a slim political margin.

8th Annual Health Care Conference

June 4, 2010 in Events
Friday, June 4th, 2010
8:00 am - 1:30 pm
DoubleTree SeaTac
Seattle, WA

WPC hosted it's 8th Annual Health Care Conference, Featuring Keynote Speakers Harvard Business School Professor Regina Herzlinger and Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Keynote Breakfast

Rob McKenna is serving his second term as Washington's 17th Attorney General. As the state's chief legal officer, he directs 500 attorneys and nearly 700 professional staff providing legal services to state agencies, boards and commissions.

The Impact of the National Health Care Law on Doctors and Other Providers in Washington State

June 3, 2010 in Publications

After fourteen months of debate, President Obama signed major health care legislation on March 23, 2010, and reconciled amendments from the Senate were added on March 30, 2010. The legislation will have a deep-felt effect on residents and businesses in Washington state in different ways. This paper, the first in a series from Washington Policy Center, examines the impact on hospitals and doctors.

Washington state counts on Medicaid boost

June 3, 2010 in In the News
Spokesman Review
Spokesman Review
Thursday, June 3, 2010

Instead of helping patients, state officials make hospitals ‘go to war’

May 3, 2010 in Blog

It’s sad when hospitals that went into business to help people be healthy, have to battle over expansion efforts that would create more jobs and better access to health care. But that’s what is going on in the Tri-Cities right now.

The headline in the weekend edition of the Tri-City Herald says it all; “Tri-City hospitals at war.” The fight is required by an outdated, unneeded state process called the ‘Certificate of Need.’ It puts state officials, not medical professionals, in charge of deciding how large a medical facility a community needs.

In this case, Kadlec and Kennewick General Hospitals are both being forced to criticize the other to get a thumbs-up for expansion from the state. Kadlec wants to add 114 beds, while Kennewick General seeks an additional 25. Chances are slim that both expansion permits would be approved, because the state believes adding more hospital beds to a community drives up costs. This has been proven to be untrue and the information the state uses to decide the expansion process is unreliable.

So instead of concentrating on providing the best and most cost-effective care for patients, the hospitals have been questioning the other’s occupancy rates for weeks. More public hearings are planned in the coming month. The state says the CON process, usually taken one-by-one, helps keep other hospitals in business. But what happens when two hospitals apply at the same time? The answer is simple- government officials pick the winner.

Last year, state officials rejected a much-needed expansion of Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane which would have created hundreds of jobs, expanded medical care and made Sacred Heart the largest hospital in the state.  The next time someone in the Tri-Cities can’t get adequate medical care because of a lack of hospital beds, we’ll know who to blame.

Much to hate about Obamacare

April 27, 2010 in In the News
North Lake Tahoe Bonanza
North Lake Tahoe Bonanza
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Washington residents to see ObamaCare Taxes Now, Services Later

April 17, 2010 in Publications

This op-ed first appeared in Spokane's daily newspaper, the Spokesman Review, on Sunday, March 28, 2010. WPC now has a regular column in the Spokesman Review that will appear in the last weekend of each month

State’s mandates drive up health costs, reduce access to coverage

April 15, 2010 in In the News
Seattle / Local HealthGuide
Seattle / Local HealthGuide
Thursday, April 15, 2010