WA Legislation News

Health Care Legislation - State Level

ESSB 2662: Insulin Affordability + Work Group

ESSB 2662 establishes the Total Cost of Insulin Work Group; Caps the total out-of-pocket cost for a 30-day supply of insulin at $100 for two years.

Status: Victory! Governor Jay Inslee signed into law 3 April 2020.

HCFA-WA developed a proposal last summer to have the state cover the cost of insulin and supplies for people with insulin dependent diabetes, using a model based on the very successful Childhood Vaccination Program. Our proposal was picked up, and a lot of legislative and health policy staff work went into what could legally be done in one legislative session. HB 2662 combines two Senate Bills, 6087 (which passed) and 6113. 

Read the final bill  
Read more about ESSB 2662 here

E2SSB 6087: Insulin affordability & price monitoring

E2SSB 6087 limits out-of-pocket expenses for a 30-day supply of insulin to $100; Requires the Health Care Authority to monitor the price of insulin.

Status: Victory! Governor Jay Inslee signed into law 31 March 2020.

This is government putting a price cap on private insurance companies, which will “encourage” insurance companies to negotiate prices with Pharma.

Read the final bill
Read more about E2SSB 6087 here

SB 6113: Central Insulin Purchasing Work Group

SB 6113 establishes the Central Insulin Purchasing Work Group.  The Work Group must design a purchasing strategy to allow the State Prescription Drug Purchasing Consortium to act as the single purchaser for insulin in the state. 

Status: Did not pass - but was incorporated into ESSB 2662!

The essential provisions of this bill were brought into 2662, establishing the Total Cost of Insulin Work Group, which is charged with designing a state-administered drug purchasing entity.

Read the bill
Read more about SB 6113 here

SSB 6088: Rx Drug Affordability Board

SSB 6088 establishes the prescription drug affordability board, requires the board to identify prescription drugs priced above a certain threshold, and authorizes the board to conduct cost reviews of drugs and set upper payment limits for state purchasers.

Status: Unfortunately, due to budget constraints brought on by the Covid-19 crisis, Gov. Inslee vetoed this bill.  We hope it will be reintroduced in 2021.

This bill is getting government deep into the examination and control of the cost of individual drugs, and, by establishing upper payment limits, putting price caps on the drugs the state purchases.

Read the bill
Read more about SSB 6088 here

Check out the Other Important Washington Health Care Legislation that passed in the 2019-2020 session.


VICTORY: "The Pathway to Universal Health Care" Work Group

The Pathway to Universal Health Care bill sets the table for universal health care while we await Congressional passage of the State-Based Universal Health Care Act, hopefully as soon as 2021. Here's the lowdown on the bill:

  SSB 5822, is prime sponsored by Senator Emily Randall (26th LD)

HB 1877, the companion bill, is prime sponsored by Representative Nicole Macri (43rd LD)

• It establishes a Work Group within the Health Care Authority to make recommendations for publicly funded, privately delivered health care for all Washington state residents.

• It would, in the meantime, evaluate efforts to improve coverage and access while ensuring a just transition and exploring multi-state collaboration.

Read our recap of this legislation's journey.

Click here to view the Pathway budget proviso legislation (page 134, begins line 11)


Health Care Legislation - National Level

HR 5010: The State-Based Universal Health Care Act of 2019 
Originally introduced by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, this bill would "...authorize the establishment of, and provide support for, State-based universal health care systems that provide comprehensive health benefits to State residents, and for other purposes."

VIDEO: Medicare for All Hearing in the House Rules Committee 
April 30, 2019
Including the powerful testimony from "...Ady Barkan, who advocated for the passage of the Medicare for All plan. Mr. Barkan was diagnosed in 2016 with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease."

VIDEO: Pathways to Universal Coverage Hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee
June 12, 2019

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