Social and Economic Policy
Health Care

Everyone should have access to affordable, quality healthcare across a full spectrum of services, from preventative care to inpatient hospitalization, with a workforce sufficient to provide these services with the goal of a publicly funded universal system.


Issue Team Chair: Jody Disney, jdisney@lwvwa.org, (520) 468-9499
 DOWNLOAD the Health Care Issue Paper
Interested in getting involved with this topic? Click here! 


Bill Tracking

Weekly Reports


Bill Descriptions


Get Involved

Overview

The League at both the state and national level supports access to affordable and quality healthcare for all. Restrictions to access, provider availability, cost as well as varying reimbursement levels plague our healthcare system. The number one cause of personal bankruptcy in this nation is healthcare. Inequity in the system is rampant, your zip code defines the healthcare available to you as well as the quality.

During the last session legislation was passed addressing some of these issues. The most transformative legislation related to healthcare was HB 1866, the Apple Home & Healthcare Bill linking health to housing. Other gains in healthcare were made in holding down cost, expanding scope of practice, equity related to choice in healthcare; and including the consumer voice in defining how care is imagined and delivered.

In the upcoming session, it is likely that legislation will be introduced to increase the healthcare workforce, facilitate access to health services in underserved areas and for underserved populations, and provide more health services in locations convenient and familiar such as schools and physicians’ offices. As well, creativity in legislation considering other locations as in outpatient centers and community-based centers for care. An example of this thinking for maternal issues might include healthcare providers such as doulas, midwives, and community health advisors (CHAs). Personal choice in healthcare legislation will require our determined advocacy this session.

Bill Tracking

Senate Bills Senate House After Passage
Bill # Bill Name (Brief Title) League Position Take Action In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  Passed Legislature On Governor's Desk Signed
SB 5036 Concerning telemedicine. Supports
x








SB 5098 Prohibiting abortions based on Down syndrome. Opposes
x








SB 5184 Concerning licensure of anesthesiologist assistants Opposes
x








SB 5241 Concerning material changes to the materials and operation structure of participants in the healthcare marketplace (previously Keep Our Care Act (KOCA). Supports x








SB 5242 Prohibits cost sharing for abortion. Supports x








SB 5260 Protecting and assisting Washington employers that provide access to or benefits for reproductive healthcare services. Supports x








SB 5489 Concerning access to reproductive health care services and gender affirming treatment in Washington state. Supports x








SJR 8202 Senate Joint Resolution on amending the Constitution to address reproductive freedom Supports x








House Bills House Senate After Passage
Bill # Bill Name (Brief Title) League Position Take Action In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  Passed Legislature On Governor's Desk Signed
HB 1027 Concerning telemedicine. Supports
x








HB 1035 Prohibiting healthcare entities from restricting certain healthcare services by health care providers. Supports x








HB 1115 Cost Sharing for Abortion Care.
Supports x








HB 1222 Requiring coverage for hearing Instruments. Supports
x








HB 1263 Concerning material changes to the materials and operation structure of participants in the healthcare marketplace (previously Keep Our Care Act (KOCA). Supports x








HB 1469 Concerning actions by health professions' disciplining authorities against license holders and applicants. Supports x








HB 4201 Amending the constitution to address reproductive freedom. Supports x








Weekly Reports

These weekly updates will provide you with a "deep dive" into the progress of each bill, along with more analysis of the potential impact of the bill if it should pass. 



Bill Descriptions

HB 1027 Concerning telemedicine. Extends the time frame (until 01/2017) in which real-time telemedicine using both audio and video technology may be used.

HB 1035 Prohibiting healthcare entities from restricting certain healthcare services by health care providers. This bill clarifies that health care providers have agency in what services can be provided as long as they are within scope of practice and approved by Department of health (DOH).

HB  1115 Cost Sharing for Abortion Care.  Sponsored by Representative Bateman and seventeen others.  This bill seeks to end the practice of copays and coinsurance preventing women from obtaining abortion care.

HB 1222 Requiring coverage for hearing Instruments.  Sponsored by Representative Orwall and 16 others.  This bill has expanded to include everyone who requires hearing instruments. It is an access to care issue the League has consistently supported.

HB  1263 Concerning material changes to the materials and operation structure of participants in the healthcare marketplace (previously Keep Our Care Act (KOCA)).Companion Bill to the Senate Bill 5241 (Described below).  This bill is sponsored by Representatives Simmons, Stonier, Macri and Pollet in the house. This bill has been referred to the Civil Rights and Justice Committee.

HB 1281 Increasing access to the provisions of the Washington death with dignity act. (Previously Concerning Death with Dignity.)  Sponsored by the Representative Rude and twenty-one others. (The companion bill is SB 5179.)  This bill is scheduled to be heard on January 25th at 1:30pm in Heath Care & Wellness.

HB 1340 Concerning actions by health professions’ disciplining authorities against license holders and applicants. This is a companion bill to SB 5400 described below. Sponsored by Riccelli and twenty-four others.


HB 1469 Concerning access to reproductive services and gender affirming treatment in Washington state. Sponsored by Representatives Hansen and Thai.

HJR 4201 House Joint Resolution.  This is a companion bill to SJR 8202.  Sponsored by Representative Gregerson and thirty-two others.

SB 5036 Concerning telemedicine. This is a companion bill to HB 1027. Sponsored by Senator Muzzall.


SB 5098 Prohibiting abortion based on Down syndrome. This bill was sponsored by Senator Padden and three others. (The companion bill is HB 1379.) The bill seeks to control a person’s freedom to make medical choices and interferes with an individual’s bodily autonomy.

SB 5103 Concerning payment to acute care hospitals for difficult to discharge Medicaid patients. Patients in hospitals in small communities are waiting to be discharged to other placement such as a nursing home bed. This bill will protect these hospitals which smaller and rural communities cannot afford to lose.  Sponsored by Senator Muzzall.

SB 5184 Considering Anesthesia Assistants. This bill is sponsored by Senator Rivers and six others.  (The companion bill is HB 1038.)  This bill seeks a new classification of assistants to anesthesiologists.  This bill instead of lifting and supporting Certified Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) who are critical to the existing healthcare workforce especially in rural communities, has the potential to undermine them.  CRNAs are an independent and well-established profession with an exemplary educational program at Gonzaga.

SB 5241 Concerning material changes to the materials and operation structure of participants in the healthcare marketplace (previously Keep Our Care Act (KOCA)). (Washington State Legislature). Sponsored by Senator Randall and sixteen others, this bill seeks to limit mergers and acquisitions of hospitals and healthcare facilities.  Passage gives the Attorney General further legal grounds to investigate and intervene in cases where takeover of a secular healthcare facility limits choice in personal healthcare decision making. This is particularly of concern in end of life, gender affirming care and the whole of reproductive healthcare. 

SB 5242 Prohibits cost sharing for abortion. Sponsored by Senator Cleveland and sixteen others.  Companion bill to HB 1115.

SB 5260 Protecting and assisting Washington employers and that provides access to or benefits for reproductive healthcare services.  Sponsored by Senator Keiser and sixteen others.

SB  5400 Concerning actions by health professions’ disciplining authorities against license holders and applicants.  This bill seeks to protect healthcare license holders or applicants from having action taken against them for providing gender affirming or reproductive healthcare.  Sponsored by Senator Salomon and sixteen others.

SB 5489 Concerning access to reproductive health care services and gender affirming treatment in Washington state.Sponsored by Senator Trudeau and Wellman. This is a companion bill to HB 1469.

SJR 8202 Senate Joint Resolution.   Amending the State Constitution to address reproductive freedom.  This resolution will require passage by two-thirds of the membership in both the House and Senate and if passed will be voted on by the voters in the next general election. Sponsored by Senators Keiser and Kuderer, this bill requires our steadfast support.


How To Be Involved
  • Local Leagues in Washington have action chairs who coordinate action teams. Some local Leagues have health care teams to take action locally. Contact your local League action chair to find out and join.
  • Please work with LWVWA issue chairs and become involved with our Healthcare Affinity group. We welcome your perspectives as we determine our support for legislation and prepare testimony for the session. Contact Kim Abbey to be added to our Healthcare Affinity Group: kabbey48@gmail.com.

The League of Women Voters of Washington is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization.
The League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. LWVWA Education Fund contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. The League of Women Voters Education Fund does not endorse the contents of any web pages to which it links.

League of Women Voters of the United States

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software