Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

With lives in the balance, voters should decide the fate of the Basic Health Plan

Aubrey Davis

Aubrey Davis, EOI Board Member

by Aubrey Davis

From the Seattle Times: TWENTY years ago, Washington created the Basic Health Plan (BHP) to provide reasonable health care for people who work for employers that do not offer them insurance and do not pay enough for them to afford to buy individual coverage on the market. The BHP is partly financed by income-adjusted premiums paid by participants, and since 2002, partly by a voter-approved tax on cigarettes.

Today, facing a massive revenue shortfall thanks to the recession, lawmakers are weighing whether to shut down the BHP entirely. The consequences of doing so were vividly described by Times reporter Carol Ostrom’s story [“Amid budget crisis, hard health-care decisions: Where to cut?” Jan 13]. The loss would not only threaten people’s health, but their very lives. And it would eliminate a program that will be fundamental for the state’s participation in national health-care reform in 2014.

The irony is that the BHP, while financed by direct-user payments and a voter-approved tax, faces closure. Meanwhile, our state is forgoing billions in tax revenue through hundreds of corporate tax loopholes and exemptions that voters never approved in the first place, and that haven’t been seriously re-examined since.

Read the full column in the Seattle Times »

  • Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More To Read

May 2, 2024

Baby Bonds: A Step Toward Racial and Economic Equity

The Washington Future Fund would bring this innovative, anti-racist policy to the Evergreen State

May 1, 2024

Laws Targeting LGBTQ Youth Aren’t Just Bad for Kids – They’re Bad For The Economy

The harm done by anti-LGBTQ laws expands so much further than queer children and teens

April 26, 2024

What is WA Cares and Why Does It Matter for Washingtonians?

We need to defend this important policy from billionaires looking to save a buck