Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Costs and Access

The first meeting of the Washington State Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Costs and Access will take place on Thursday, June 22, 2006. Governor Chris Gregoire and Senator Pat Thibaudeau will serve as Co-Chairs of the commission.

Governor Gregoire formed the commission to find ways to provide accessible, affordable, quality health care for all Washingtonians.

The task of the commission is to recommend to Governor Gregoire and the Legislature by December 1, 2006, a sustainable five-year plan to substantially improve access to affordable health care for all Washingtonian residents.

Other members of the commission are Speaker Frank Chopp (D-Seattle), Senator Lisa Brown (D-Spokane), Representatives Eileen Cody (D-Seattle), John Serben (R-Spokane), Bill Hinkle (R-Cle Elum), and Senators Linda Evans Parlette (R-Wenatchee) and Alex Deccio (R-Yakima).

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, Secretary of Health Mary Selecky, Health Care Authority Director Steve Hill, Doug Porter from the Department of Social and Health Services and Robert Malooly from the Department of Labor and Industries will also serve as commission members.

As progressives, we should be advocating for the following:

ONE MEDICAL PLAN. It must be privately delivered and publicly administered, thus eliminating the massive and complicated bureaucratic mess that we currently have.

All residents would be provided with one medical ID card that would essentially direct payment for medical services from a centralized claims processing clearinghouse to either doctors, hospitals, clinics, labs or pharmacies.

Patients would be free to choose their own doctors and hospitals.

COMPREHENSIVE benefits. It would cover all primary and preventive services as well as prescription drugs, vision, dental and hearing services.

UNIVERSAL coverage, meaning it covers everybody regardless of age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational level, income, employment or marital status.

CONTINUOUS benefits, thus eliminating "job-lock" - the odd link between employers and health insurance coverage.

GUARANTEED ACCESS. This means that all residents will be entitled to health care services wherever they are provided, and "as" the services are available. Pre-existing conditions will also be included for treatment.

Blue Ribbon Commission Meeting Agenda:
  1. Sign-in and coffee (8:30 - 9:30).
  2. Welcome and introduction of commission members.
  3. Review work plan and resource book.
  4. Review and discuss problem and vision statement.
  5. Review and discuss criteria for evaluating proposals.
  6. Lunch on your own (12:30 - 1:30).
  7. Stakeholder feedback on problem statement, vision statement, and criteria (break-out sessions).
  8. Report to Commission from break-out sessions.
  9. Wrap up and next steps (4:30 - 5:00).
Directions to:
Olympia High School
1302 North St. NE
Tumwater, WA (front entrance)

From I-5 north or southbound,
Take Exit 105B (Port of Olympia),
Take first left onto Henderson Boulevard, then
Turn right onto Carlyon (Pioneer Elmentary School, 1655 Carlyon, is on the left corner),
Continue on Carlyon.
Olympia High School is located on your left.

The Performing Arts Center is located on the backside of the building.

<< Home