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

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.

Chilling Views of Health Care Advisors Driving Reform Plans

September 17, 2009 in Publications

Everyone agrees the key to improving health care is to get control of unsustainable rising costs. This can be done either through greater market competition and more choices for consumers, or through restricting choice and imposing ever-tighter government controls. The thousands of pages of legislation now under consideration in Washington, D.C. show Congress and the Administration are opting for the second approach. A look at who is advising the White House on health care should cause all Americans to be very worried about our health care future.

Public Option Will Lower Private Health Insurance Premiums...to Zero

August 17, 2009 in Publications

Responding to the concern that setting up a government-run public option insurance plan would inject politics into American health care, public option backers are saying, “Right. And that’s a good thing.”

Guarding Against Disease

August 6, 2009 in Publications

In 1965, the United States government assured that all children would receive access to vaccines for common childhood diseases through the passage of the Vaccination Assistance Act. The law created a program that provides federal grants to local authorities for preventive health services, including immunizations.

The President's "Public Option" and Small Businesses

July 17, 2009 in Publications

This op-ed was published in the Puget Sound Business Journal on July 17th, 2009.