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Economic Justice: Access to health care – Feb. 5

The Senate Ways & Means Committee amended the House 2011 Supplementary Operating Budget. ESHB 1086 cuts $254 million from the current biennial budget, which funds state services through June 30, 2011. While the Senate budget cuts more than did either the house or governor’s budget, Basic Health is retained, as is Disability Lifeline, and Apple Health for Kids. Take Charge family planning is also funded through the end of the biennium.

Unfortunately, continued funding of Basic Heath was achieved by eliminating coverage for undocumented state residents (about 12,000). This means Basic Health will be available for about 42,000 state residents. (Click here for additional information).

While this compromise supports the FCWPP goal of retaining the Basic Health plan, it undermines the FCNL goal of “safeguarding the integrity of our society and the inherent dignity of all human beings” by “protect[ing] human and civil rights of immigrants currently living in the United States”
(For further information click here).

Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives introduced  HB 1847 to generate more than $100 million/year to fund the Basic Health plan, “ensur[ing] access to affordable, quality health care services for Washington residents who lack other means of acquiring or maintaining such health care coverage”. This is accomplished by closing tax loopholes previously put in place to benefit different special interests in our state.

Action: Please contact members of the House, asking them to support maintenance of the Basic Health Plan and other safety net programs.

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