Healthcare Bills in WA State legislature

Dear Persons Who Care About Healthcare —
Three bills are making their way through Olympia and have a chance at passage this session. WA has a one-stop website where you can look up the information, read the bill, and comment on it.

Go to:  https://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/

Type in the number of the bill.  (HB stands for House Bill, SB is for the Senate. If you type in 1523 the website also shows the link to the corresponding bill, which in this case would be 5526.)

Just below the name and summary of the bill is a green box labeled “Comment on this bill.”

You type in your address to validate your district, then it pulls up your elected officials. Click on all of them to send the same comments. And if you don’t want to comment, you can click the box for “support” and send it on its way.

Please read the bills and send your support, and get everyone you know to comment. 

HB 1523/SB 5526—Relating to increasing availability of quality affordable health coverage in the individual market. 1523 Passed House, 3/8.  Public hearing in Senate Health and Long Term Care 3/20, 1:30. 4/5 Public hearing in Senate Committee Ways & Means. 4/6 Public Hearing House Committee on Appropriations

(This one props up the WA ACA plans.) 

HB 1612/SB 5602—Provide maximum access to reproductive health care and reproductive health care coverage for all in WA.  5602  Passed Senate 3/7.  Public Hearing in House Committee on Health Care and Wellness 3/20, 1:30 pm. 4/6 Public hearing House Committee on Appropriations.

(With the threats to Title X funding, this is important for women’s health.)

HB 1877/SB 5822—Providing a pathway to establish a universal health care system for the residents of Washington State. 5822 Passed Senate 3/13; 1streading in House Health Care and Wellness Committee 3/15. 4/6 Scheduled for public hearing in House Committee on Appropriations.

(This is a longer term approach to set up the trust that would fund a WA-only universal health care program.)

EVENT: National Medicare For All Discussion

Saturday, MARCH 30
National Medicare For All
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Sanctuary
2333 San Juan ~ Port Townsend
Hosted by: National Nurses United and Olympic Peninsula Progressives

Guest Speakers:
 Rick Doherty, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.A.C.M.G. Retired Medical School Professor, Medical and Molecular Geneticist, Toxicologist, Physician

Craig Ritchie J.D., BPharm, former Sequim City Attorney, former Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney, Instructor in Pharmacy Law, Licensed Pharmacist

The Measles Moms – Medium

A very good short read on the people making the decisions on not vaccinating their children and how the medical community (and non medical community) might reach out to them. Written by Jessica Valenti.

The leaders of the anti-vaccination movement — both at home and on the national stage — are women. (Specifically, women in <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171003111108.htm&quot; data-href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171003111108.htm&quot; class="markup–anchor markup–p-anchor" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: inherit; text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.541176); background-image: url("data:image/svg+xml; utf8, “); background-size: 1px 1px; caret-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.843137); font-family: medium-content-serif-font, Georgia, Cambria, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif; font-size: 21px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: -0.06300000101327896px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px); background-repeat: repeat no-repeat”>affluent areas.) They’re <a href="https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/fact-sheets/women-and-job-based-health.pdf&quot; data-href="https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/fact-sheets/women-and-job-based-health.pdf&quot; class="markup–anchor markup–p-anchor" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: inherit; text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.541176); background-image: url("data:image/svg+xml; utf8, “); background-size: 1px 1px; caret-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.843137); font-family: medium-content-serif-font, Georgia, Cambria, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif; font-size: 21px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: -0.06300000101327896px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px); background-repeat: repeat no-repeat”>disproportionately the family members who make medical decisions about kids, they’re the most active in chat rooms, and they’re the most recognizable public faces of the anti-vaccination movement.

https://medium.com/s/jessica-valenti/why-women-lead-the-anti-vaxx-movement-13bb6ff6ae5c

ACA plans denied nearly 1 in 5 in-network claims in 2017 – Healthcare Dive

To see that almost 20% of ACA in-network claims have been denied in 2017 is not a good situation. And the lack of appeals on them (.05%) shows that for most providers, they just push back on the patient to pay.

A very good read to help consumers understand that the marketplace is not working properly and that you should be very careful talking to your medical provider about what they are prescribing you to do. Be very open in telling them that your financial situation cannot afford surprise bills, and ask if there is a way to check first before moving forward with your provider.


https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/aca-plans-denied-nearly-1-in-5-in-network-claims-in-2017/549312/

Former Aetna medical director admits to never reviewing medical records before denying care. -Forbes

This is something that has been suspected by care providers for some time. Now the proof has come out in court.

One of the dirty medical secrets that you likely aren’t aware of, is that your Physician, Physician Assistant, or Nurse Practitioner may spend far longer than they spend with you, fighting for your right to get your care that they prescribe from your insurance company. Sometimes it means they lose money on the time they spent with you as it could mean hours on the phone and time spent sending records over to them for supposed review. Sometimes it may mean that one is turned down for coverage for a life threatening illness. Sometimes people die because of it. Sometimes they have to shift to care that may not be optimal, from the perspective of your provider.

Now, in court, a former Aetna medical director admits that he never even looked at the medical records of people who he denied coverage to, relying on nurses employed by the company to determine the validity of the requested coverage. Why this is possible is outrageus, and it flips the old claim we heard from Republicans in the 90s against then First Lady Hilary Clinton, that her proposals for healthcare reform were going to lead to “death panels”. So Clinton’s ideas failed, and we carried on with for profit insurance companies who apparently don’t even need a panel, but entrust life or death decisions to unskilled bureaucratic workers.

The Democrats, today, rolled out their plan for Medicare for All. There is much to debate in this plan, but the goal is to end at some point in the future, the out of control pricing and unregulated nature of the decision making at these corporate companies, many of whom have made their CEOs enormously rich by denying care to those that need it most. Let me remind anyone that is not aware of it, but the U.S. citizen pays far more and gets much worse outcomes than any other industrialized country in the world. While moving to a new system it may *raise our taxes* it may also *reduce your healthcare costs that you pay monthly*. If you could do away with your $500 a month or more you and your family pay for insurance coverage, and get coverage for $25 more in taxes, why would you say no? (The number $25 is just a straw dog). There is also a proposal that the taxes needed for this plan will come from taxing the wealthiest 1%.

I for one am willing to explore this and see exactly how much more I will have to pay for government run healthcare, if anything at all. Under the plan, you will still get to see your favorite doctor, and we will need to train hundreds of thousands of more new providers, but this current system is out of control, prices are vastly too high, and now, we see that they are not even concerned about whether we live or die, just that we pay them their monthly fees.

Want to do something about it? First off, make sure you are not investing in these companies. Cut off their investments by requesting an end to financial support for them in the stock market. Secondly, call your State and Federal congresspeople, demanding that our Insurance Commissioner investigate these companies. At the federal level they need to launch an investigation into this practice as well.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2018/02/11/former-aetna-medical-director-admits-to-never-reviewing-medical-records-before-denying-care/#e74f11635e53