Political Buzz

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Category: Health care

Jan.
23rd

Insurance commissioner Kreidler: State needs to pass Reproductive Parity Act

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler says the controversial Reproductive Parity Act pending in the Legislature is not essential to have in the next two years, because the state’s health insurers that cover maternity services are locked in to also covering abortion. But Kreidler said the Legislature should write that coverage into state law this year in anticipation that things could change under Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, in the out years.

“That is where there is nervousness right now,” he said of lawmakers’ interest in passing Senate Bill 5009 or House Bill 1044.

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Jan.
18th

Why was new First Lady Trudi Inslee in a wheelchair at Inaugural Ball? Just giving an injured knee a rest

At least some of the photographs from Wednesday’s Inaugural Ball in Olympia showed First Lady Trudi Inslee in a wheelchair. Like the one here by Ted Warren of the Associated Press.

But she was shown standing while her husband Jay Inslee took the oath of office in the rotunda of the Legislative Building and at other times during the day’s events. Hopefully she hadn’t suffered an injury during the new governor’s afternoon basketball game at the Mansion.

Inslee spokesman David Postman explained it this way: “Not a basketball injury. She started the day with knee problems but was able

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July
12th

McKenna still clarifying stance on health-law repeal

Republicans’ leading candidate for governor, Rob McKenna, does not support repealing the Affordable Care Act, his top spokesman Charles McCray said today. That squares with remarks McKenna made to reporters two weeks ago – the day the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a Obamacare) from a lawsuit that McKenna had joined with other attorneys general.

The suit – if fully successful – would have overturned the act, which is further than McKenna has always said he really wanted to happen. After the ruling McKenna said it was time to move on and improve what

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June
28th

Gregoire says court ‘victory’ keeps state in forefront

Gov. Chris Gregoire says today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding federal health reform is a victory and a relief for Washington state and its people, and she said the Evergreen State is leading the country on the health reform path.

The Democratic governor, who is nearing the final six months of her final term, invoked the recent cancer diagnosis of her husband, Mike, and said thousands of Washington residents will now have the same comfort she did in not worrying about insurance coverage to help cover treatment costs.

Read the full post here.

June
28th

Inslee on Obamacare: A win despite ‘enormous political pressure by Republican Attorneys General’

Jay Inslee, former congressman and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, targeted opponent Rob McKenna, albeit not by name, in his statement today about the Supreme Court’s ruling on health care:

“Today, in a majority ruling by Justices appointed by Presidents of both parties, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act.

What this means for Washingtonians is that insurance companies can no longer deny people coverage based on pre-existing conditions; there can be no caps on lifetime coverage; young men and women just starting out on their career paths can stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26; and prescription

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June
28th

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, one of the plaintiffs in lawsuit, says he wanted “thoughtful debate” on health care law

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna had joined the law suit with more than two-dozen other states challenging the Affordable Care Act. The Republican candidate for governor, who sought to invalidate the mandate to buy insurance and Medicaid mandates for states, put out a news release that says in part:

Today the US Supreme Court upheld the 2010 Affordable Care Act. In a close decision, with multiple opinions, the Court ruled that the federal requirement to purchase health insurance—specifically a plan dictated by government regulators – does not violate the Constitution.

The states argued that the Constitution’s Commerce Clause allows Congress

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June
28th

Reichert on health care decision: ‘Only one more point’ in ongoing debate

Congressman Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, had this to say this morning:

“While I respect today’s Supreme Court ruling, it is only one more point in the ongoing debate. I remain undeterred in improving health care for all Americans. The government takeover of health care raised taxes and health care costs, restricted access for patients and hurt businesses. Those problems remain and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to continue repealing harmful and expensive provisions of the law and finding common sense, reasonable solutions for Americans to have access to affordable and quality health care.”

June
28th

Olympia still digesting effects of health ruling on Medicaid

Washington’s state Medicaid overseers are still sorting through this morning’s landmark Supreme Court ruling on health reform to clarify what impact there may be. At issue was the penalty Congress envisioned to withhold Medicaid funding from states that did not go along with the expansion of Medicaid coverage to single adults that have incomes below the eligibility threshold, which state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler says could benefit 328,000 Washingtonians.

Jim Stevenson, spokesman for the Health Care Authority that oversees Medicaid and state employee health plans, said early interpretations are that the court found Congress went too far and that

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