SB 5822 establishes the development of a work group dedicated to providing a pathway to establish a universal health care system for Washington state residents.
The legislature recognizes health care as a human right and thus intends to control health care costs so Washington state can achieve a sustainable health care system with more equitable access. Therefore, this act declares that it is sensible for the state to explore mechanisms to operate and fund a universal health care program through a public option and by standardizing benefit plan designs.
Section Two of this act requires specific stakeholders and members the Health Care Authority (HCA) are included when convening the work group. It also details that the work group must study and make recommendations to the legislature for a health care system that is publicly funded, privately delivered, sustainable and affordable to all Washington residents, that includes, but is not limited to:
- options for increasing coverage and access for uninsured and underinsured populations;
- transparency measures across major health system actors;
- innovations that promote quality, evidence-based practices that lead to sustainability and affordability;
- options for ensuring a just transition for all stakeholders; and
- options for revenue and funding mechanisms.
The work group must report its findings to the appropriate committees by November 15, 2020.
*Companion to HB 1877*
Updated on 4.12.19:
- Added the Washington Health Benefit Exchange as a member of the work group.
- Added patients, the general public, patient advocates, and community health advocates as members of the work group.
- Specified health care providers that are members of the work group may be either self-employed or otherwise employed.
- Specified the work group’s recommendations to the legislature on a universal health care system must be on how to create, implement, maintain, and fund a universal health care system.
- Added that the work group may include recommendations for a universal health care system publicly administered and publicly delivered.
- Added entities representing both management and labor to the stakeholders that must be included in the work group’s recommendations for options in ensuring a just transition to a universal health care system for all stakeholders.
- Requires the funds appropriated for the work group to perform an actuarial analyses be used to contract with one or more consultants to perform actuarial and financial analyses.
- Requires HCA to make the work group’s preliminary reports with findings and preliminary recommendations available for public comment by November 15, 2019, and May 15, 2020.
House Committee Amendments (Updated on 4.12.19):
- A null and void clause was added, making the bill null and void unless funded in the omnibus appropriations act.