Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver, says in an e-mail to her fellow House Democrats that she’s having second thoughts about the cuts that were made during the just-adjourned legislative session.
Perhaps, she says, lawmakers should consider shorter work weeks (for state workers, I assume) and other reductions to buy back some of the health care cuts.
And she’s suggesting it go on the special session agenda.
“We are going to be coming back in town soon to take care of unfinished business and I would like to suggest that we find a way to address this health emergency in the budget.”
From: Wallace, Rep. Deb
Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 4:20 AM
To: @HDC Members
Cc: McCrady, Melinda
Subject: 3 a.m. thought
Many of you are probably having the same 3 a.m. thought that awoke me in the middle of the night. When we adjourned on Sunday the Swine Flu wasn’t on anyone’s agenda as it hadn’t erupted. Barely four days later and we are at a level 5 pandemic and we have just passed a budget to cut 40,000 people off of health care.
We are going to be coming back in town soon to take care of unfinished business and I would like to suggest that we find a way to address this health emergency in the budget. I was reading the World Health Organization and the WA State Health Department websites and see that a pandemic can last 18 months so this is not something that may go away soon.
At the end of session many members were talking about what else could be done in the budget to stave off some of the reductions we made. Although politically difficult I think this is the time to look at further reductions (reduced work week or other reductions) to buy-back the health care cover of the thousands we eliminated.
I also request that we have a conference call this week to discuss possible legislative action to address this issue. A conference call with the Kitchen Cabinet may be in order.
If we don’t do something now to address this health care emergency in the budget we will all have blood on our hands. There are a number of options to consider.