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Universal Health Care Commission
Washington State seeks to establish a universal system of health care for all residents. Senate Bill 5399 passed during the 2021 legislative session creating a Universal Health Care Commission to aid in this effort. Learn more about the purpose and activities of the commission.
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The purpose of the commission is to:
- Make the health care system more accessible by increasing access to quality, affordable health care.
- Prepare the state for the creation of a health care system that provides coverage and access for all Washington residents:
- Through a unified financing system.
- Once the federal government approves this new health care system.
Fifteen members will make up the Universal Health Care Commission:
- Governor Inslee will appoint six commission members. Interested applicants can apply on the Governor’s website.
- One member from each of the two largest caucuses of the House of Representatives, appointed by the Speaker of the House.
- One member from each of the two largest caucuses of the Senate, appointed by the President of the Senate.
- The secretary of the Department of Health, or secretary's designee.
- The director of the Health Care Authority (HCA), or director's designee.
- The chief executive officer (CEO) of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, or CEO's designee.
- The insurance commissioner, or commissioner's designee.
- The director of the Office of Equity, or the director's designee.
Yes. The commission will collect and use data from the Health Care Cost Transparency Board.
The commission will also consider and apply, when appropriate, the work of the Universal Health Care Work Group, whose work ended in early 2021. In 2019, the Washington State Legislature directed HCA to convene a work group study (i.e., the work group). The purpose of the study was to provide recommendations to the Legislature on how to create, implement, maintain, and fund a universal health care system.
The first meeting is tentatively scheduled for fall 2021. Stay tuned for more information.