HUGE THANKS to the 38 individuals who registered to speak during the public comment section of UHC Work Group Meeting #6. We greatly appreciate the time that all registrants took to prepare and deliver their powerful remarks.
To watch the meeting video:
Watch the full meeting, with both breakout sessions where work group members discussed:
1. Outcomes of actuarial analysis (breakout session 1)
2. The work ahead to implement the models (breakout session 2)
- Watch a second group
- Watch a third group
Pro tip for future meetings: To be assured of being able to comment during the meeting, be sure to register for each Work Group as soon as the link is available.
Meeting #6 - a Firehose of Data!
At Meeting #6, Work Group members began to review the actuarial data and consider the feasibility of implementing universal health care during this time of state budget constraints. While no conclusions were reached, the scope of the work ahead became clearer.
Takeaway #1: At the end of the meeting, the overall goal for Work Group members didn’t change: model A or B is still the goal. Discussions centered around whether the state-administered Model A or Model B with administration delegated to insurance carriers would be the more feasible. In either case, the Group agreed that the State needs to be more involved in health care.
Takeaway #2: Model A has the highest price tag to implement, but also has the best potential for long-term savings to the healthcare system overall.
Takeaway #3: Whether relating personal stories or policy recommendations, members of the public who commented clearly preferred Model A. Public comments were heard at the beginning of this meeting, and seemed to have an impact on the tone of the meeting that followed. In her closing comments, HCFA-WA member Lynnette Vehrs, who is also President of the Washington State Nurses’ Association (WSNA), provided this summary of her thoughts: ”Labor unions such as WSNA and the Washington State Labor Council are no longer against Universal Health Care. This time of crisis is the time to push for change. Legislators will need a toolkit and a road map to help them get to the goal.”
Takeaway #4: The Work Group Members are uniquely qualified for the task ahead. Members with decades of experience in healthcare policy, administration, and delivery; legislative affairs; universal healthcare advocacy; labor union leadership; and the insurance industry, not to mention as patients, grappled with a number of issues raised by the need for transformative change in the way we deliver health care in Washington. These issues and more will be discussed further in the next meetings:
- Can we move to Universal Health Care all at once, or should this be done in steps?
- Is the government positioned to take on the huge financial risk on the front end in order to reap huge financial benefit on the back end? Or does the State need to take on the risk for high-needs folks first, and then bring in populations that will mitigate the risk later?
- Which do we fix first: the delivery system or the financing system?
If you like thinking about healthcare policy, mark your calendars now! All meetings will be held from 1-4 p.m. via Zoom:
- Meeting #7 is Wednesday October 7, 1-4 pm. Click to register.
Check out the Agenda here.
- Thurs., Oct. 29th
- Wed., Dec. 9th
Pro tip: To be assured of a commenting spot, be sure to register for each Work Group as soon as the link is ‘live.’