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.

Publications

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.

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.

What's Not Wrong with Health Care in the U.S.

January 1, 2009 in Publications

Change is coming to the health care system in this country. At $2.1 trillion per year, or 17% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), cost should be the driver for this movement to reform our current system.

Analysis of the Guaranteed Health Benefits Plan

December 2, 2008 in Publications

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has proposed a universal, state controlled, high-deductible health insurance plan for all Washington residents who are not covered by another government program, such as Medicare and Medicaid.

What is Insurance?

November 8, 2008 in Publications

Insurance is heavily regulated in Washington. Some level of state regulation is essential for insurance to be effective and to protect consumers against fraud. At the same time, too much regulation drives up prices, stifles competition and reduces choice and affordability for consumers. In the heat of these policy debates, the real meaning of insurance is often lost, and it becomes easy for policymakers in Olympia to forget why people need insurance in the first place.

Health Care Will be Expensive as Long as Someone Else is Paying for It

September 1, 2008 in Publications

The fundamental problem with the health care system in this country is the cost. We spend 17% of our gross domestic product, or nearly $2.2 trillion, on health care each year in the United States. Most proposals to reform health care delivery offer a way to control these expenses through the use of more regulations, “better” medicine, and ultimately, a government managed system.

What Works and What Doesn’t: A Review of Health Care Reform in the States

August 7, 2008 in Publications

Since the failure of HillaryCare at the national level in the early 1990s a number of states, including Washington, have made attempts at health care reform of their own. Each of these have been based on some form of government-managed system, generally including an open-ended taxpayer funding commitment combined with a generous set of mandated benefits.