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

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 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

How Mandates Increase Costs and Reduce Access to Health Care Coverage

April 2, 2010 in Publications

In June 2002, the Washington Policy Center published a study showing how state-imposed mandates add to the cost of health insurance.  Since then state lawmakers have added new mandates, and the cost of insurance has continued to rise.

ObamaCare: What Happens Now?

March 17, 2010 in Publications

The much anticipated health care summit was held recently in Washington, D.C. President Obama controlled the microphone and served as moderator, timekeeper, and chief negotiator with the Republicans.

Bills to Lift the Ban on Buying Health Insurance in Other States Could Lower Costs for Washington Residents

February 21, 2010 in Publications

HB 3015 (sponsored by Rep. Eileen Cody) and SB 6781 (sponsored by Sen. Karen Keiser) were offered with bipartisan support in the 2010 Legislative Session. The bills would establish “an interstate compact for the sale and issue of health benefit plans.” The goals of the proposed legislation are to:

  • Decrease the number of uninsured
  • Provide more affordable options in health insurance
  • Decrease or maintain insurance costs
  • Increase competition among insurance companies

State Abuse of the Medicaid Program

February 2, 2010 in Publications

The Medicaid program to provide health coverage for low-income people 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 to taxpayers.

State Abuse of the Medicaid Program

February 2, 2010 in Publications

This paper discusses state-federal Medicaid financing since the 1980s and how state officials have manipulated the federal program to receive extra matching money. Washington state’s proposed provider tax and the proposed “bed tax” on nursing homes are examples of how state officials adopt policies in an effort to leverage more federal funding from the Medicaid program. Since Medicaid is an entitlement with no statutory limit on spending, there is no limit to how much state officials can try to gain from the program.

The Impact of National Health Care Reform on Washington State

January 1, 2010 in Publications

U.S. House and Senate Democrats have passed two sweeping 2,000 page bills that would fundamentally and dramatically change our health care. There are significant differences between the two bills, but the more moderate Senate bill has the best chance of passing through the conference committee and being signed by the President. Both bills passed on a strict party-line vote, with essentially no support from minority Republicans.

What will this far-reaching legislation mean for Washington state?

Americans Watch Nervously as Congress Debates Giant Health Care Bill

December 1, 2009 in Publications

The U.S. House of Representative has passed a 1,910 page health care bill essentially along party lines. The Senate is now considering its own 2,074 page bill, again along party lines.

The President's Vision for Health Care Reform

October 1, 2009 in Publications

President Obama recently addressed a joint session of Congress and the American public. As always, his speech was forceful and well-delivered with just the appropriate amount of emotion.