It looks like all hope for comprehensive, affordable single payer Universal Health Care (UHC) is out the window for at least a few years if not indefinitely. The WA legislature is passing a new health care law the Cascade Care bill. This bill will set up an insurance exchange by 2021 and will require new funding estimated at $300 million dollars (most likely from taxes) and applies to only about 2% of WA residents. The bill does nothing for those struggling with medical costs for 95% of WA residents. This bill looks like a very awkward administrative nightmare and relies on the goodness of insurance corporations keeping premiums and deductibles down. SB 5222 had been introduced in the state Senate and would have provided true, comprehensive, affordable UHC. It would have covered 100% of WA residents, eliminated co-pays and deductibles, reduced the costs for everyone, and increased coverages like vision, dental and mental health. But it was held up in committee and we didn’t even get a floor vote to see who supports the People’s desire for true, affordable UHC and who doesn’t.

This is my opinion and I welcome discussion. I will not stop lobbying for true UHC until at least all WA children are covered by comprehensive affordable health care. mike benefiel