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

Seminar on the Affordable Care Act

October 16, 2013 in Events
Date: 
Thursday, October 24th, 2013
Time: 
8:30 am - 11:00 am
Place: 
The Lincoln Center
1316 N Lincoln St
Spokane

SOS FOR THE ACA?

What happens now that Obamacare has been implemented?

The Lincoln Center, Thursday October 24th 8:30 - 11:00a.m.

Dr. Roger Stark is a health care policy analyst at WPC and a retired physician.

Unions, Employers, and Obamacare

October 14, 2013 in Publications

Unionized grocery workers just voted to authorize a strike against four major grocery store chains in the Puget Sound area. Executives at the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, with 30,000 members, are dissatisfied with company proposals for paying wages and providing health benefits for part-time workers. Due to the new national health policy, employers want to drop insurance for part-time employees and allow those workers to get coverage through the individual market or the Obamacare-mandated state exchanges.

Obamacare Excludes Seattle Childrens Hospital

October 10, 2013 in Blog

Whoops - Seattle Childrens Hospital was excluded in the state exchange insurance plans by six of the eight insurance companies selling in the exchange. (Here)

The state health insurance exchanges are a big part of Obamacare. Individuals and small businesses can buy health insurance with taxpayer subsidies in the exchanges. Anyone earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($94,200 for a family of four) will qualify for the subsidies.

How is WA health exchange stacking up?

October 7, 2013 in In the News
570 KVI AM (Seattle)
Source: 
570 KVI AM (Seattle)
Date: 
Wednesday, October 2, 2013

State's Obamacare Exchange is Down

October 1, 2013 in Blog

Three years ago Washington state's elected officials took the lead in implementing Obamacare, saying that if Washington did not set up a state health care exchange, as required by the 2010 Affordable Care Act the federal government would do it for us.  The Exchange will cost the state about $50 million a year to operate.

Under the law the online Exchange was to be up and running today.  Instead visitors find it is not working.  A notice at the site, WAHealthPlanFinder, tells those seeking health coverage:

KING 5 Health Link Town Hall - Health Care: Time to Get in the Game

September 17, 2013 in In the News
KING 5 News (Seattle)
Source: 
KING 5 News (Seattle)
Date: 
Sunday, September 1, 2013

Governor kicks off "soft" launch of Results Washington effort

September 10, 2013 in Blog

Today Governor Inslee put his stamp on the state's long track record with performance management efforts with a "soft" launch of Results Washington. As noted by his press release:

Gov. Jay Inslee today formally launched Results Washington, which will provide faster and easier answers to those questions and access to an unprecedented array of performance data related to his top goals.

650,000 Washington Residents at Risk of Losing Current Health Coverage as Obamacare Approaches

September 9, 2013 in Publications

As full implementation of federal health care reform approaches, many people are confused by conflicting reports about coming increases in their health insurance premiums. The media has contributed to this confusion by using an apples-to-oranges comparison of health insurance plans. Consumers are also confused by possible changes in their health plans and are concerned whether they will be allowed to keep their existing insurance coverage.

The Softening: Declining Support for the Affordable Care Act

September 9, 2013 in Publications

In the now-famous words of former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, from 2010, “we have to pass this legislation (Affordable Care Act) to find out what’s in it.” Three years later even the most ardent supporters of the law realize it is too cumbersome and complex to actually work. President Obama himself is showing doubts. In a revealing slip, he said in a recent New York Times interview that the American public will like the law “if it works” – not when it works.

Is being put on Medicaid better than having no insurance?

September 9, 2013 in Publications

Does being put on Medicaid, the government’s entitlement program for the poor, actually save lives or improve people’s health? This is a question that has not been answered until very recently.