Small Steps for Health Care Reform by the House Ways and Means Committee
One year ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a substantial health care reform bill. The U.S. Senate was unable to do the same and consequently, major health care reform died. This past week, the House Ways and Means Committee passed multiple bills that would allow more patient control and less government intervention in our health care system.Read the entire blog
Will Maine Expand Medicaid? Governor Inslee Adds to the Debate.
In Maine, supporters of the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare have been relentless. In spite of Governor LePage’s protests, voters in Maine ultimately passed a Medicaid expansion with a ballot initiative.
Governor LePage, ever the fiscal conservative, has fought the expansion based on simple budget considerations. He rightly assumes that with or without federal taxpayer support, an open-ended entitlement such as Medicaid could bust the state budget. For months, he said the only way he would support the expansion is if it could be funded without increasing taxes, without using one-time budget gimmicks, or if it didn’t raid the state’s rainy-day fund.
Washington State Governor Inslee, either in his role as chair of the Democratic Governors Association or as part of his run for president in 2020, traveled to Maine to support the expansion. He touted the usual generalities of Medicaid expansion, but neglected to offer proof of better medical outcomes for people with Medicaid health insurance nor did he address the financial burden to federal and state taxpayers. He did not admit that “free” money from Washington, D.C., is not really free since federal taxpayers are state taxpayers, as well.Read the entire blog
1000 students are clamoring to get into Washington’s public charter schools
The good news about Washington’s public charter schools has spread. More and more parents are choosing to enroll their children. Today 1000 students are clamoring for a space at one of Washington’s 10 public charter schools. These waitlists are growing. Thousands of parents in Washington state have weighed their options and decided their child’s best chance at success is at one of Washington’s public charter schools. Yet these public schools do not have enough room.
A little background is helpful. In 2015, Washington’s first eight charter schools opened to just 1,200 students. Today, three years later 10 public charter schools teach 2,400 students. Most of these students come from low-income, minority families, and many are special needs students. This fall two new charter schools are opening, and plans are now under way to open a thirteenth school next fall in south King County. More charter schools are opening every year, but not fast enough to meet the needs of families.Read the entire blog