A single Payer Update, By Mike Benefiel

There were three health care bills introduced by Democrats this session in Olympia. The only bill that actually would have provided health care for all did not get out of committee in the Senate and no one even bothered to introduce it in the House. Both the chairs of the health care committees in the House and Senate are strongly against single payer health care system. Both received very large donations from the health care industry.

The governor’s Cascade Care bill was passed. This bill did nothing for 95% of WA residents that are paying high costs and getting low coverage. The bill intends to set up an insurance exchange system where in my opinion the premiums and deductibles will make it worthless. Also, this system is aimed at helping less than 5% of WA residents and will require additional funding, yet to be sourced.

The third bill, The Pathway, would spend money on a study to see how to implement a single payer system. This pushes all hope for decent health care down the road at least 1 1/2 years.
After the study, which will include reps from the health care industry, the study group will not recommend a single payer system. People are literally suffering and dying while we study what all of the modern nations already understand.

This bill didn’t get passed by the legislature but funding for it was included in the budget. Looks like the plan is to end run around the legislature and have the governor authorize the study by executive order.

Our Democratic controlled legislature and governor passed up an excellent opportunity to provide health care for all and save money. We may never get this chance again.

The above is the best I know, if anyone has corrections or additions, please let me know.