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Gov. Inslee Seeks to Create Another New State Health Care Program

Inslee wants another state health care bill
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

On top of the struggles to implement the Affordable Care Act,  Gov. Inslee is supporting a new bill that would create additional control over our health care industry in Washington state.

House Bill 2572 is a federally funded plan to implement what is called the Washington State Health Care Innovation Plan, or SHCIP.  According to the Washington Policy Center February 2nd:

‘The “core strategy” for SHCIP is “…for the State to take a leadership role as a major purchaser and market organizer to drive transformation.” In case there is any confusion over the intent of the program, the Full Innovation Plan is clear about who will manage health care for Washington residents: the state. “While many of the Innovation Plan’s strategies center on non-regulatory strategies and incentives, the state is prepared to explore regulatory approaches should its initial market-based and collaborative tactics be less successful than expected.”

 

Dr. Roger Stark, who is the Healthcare Analyst for the Policy Center, says the eventual goal is to have 80% of state-purchased and 50% of privately-purchased healthcare plans to be what are called outcome based, AND under SHCIP authority by the year 2019.

According to WPC, this bill amounts to basically a state-run HMO, or health maintenance organization.   Dr. Stark goes on to say about this:

We know from experience in the 1980s and 1990s that HMOs can forcibly control health care costs, but they exercise this control by a gate-keeper system that rations health care. Delaying or denying health care can save money.

For more details on this potentially controversial bill, see the report from the Washington Policy Center.

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