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Inslee letter affirms support for Cascade Care, Washington’s public option

May 19, 2020

Story 

Gov. Jay Inslee reiterated his support for Cascade Care today in a letter to Washington State Health Care Authority Director Sue Birch and Washington State Health Benefit Exchange CEO Pam MacEwan.

The letter reads, in part:

“Today we are in the midst of a public health crisis, the likes of which I have never before experienced. It is more important than ever before that we continue forward with Cascade Care and introduce high quality, affordable health insurance options to the people of Washington for 2021.

“I fully recognize the challenges of introducing such a bold program and understand that this will be a multi-year journey. Our current situation has tested the mettle of our state’s entire healthcare system. While Cascade Care may take a preliminary approach in its initial year, we fully expect it to flourish in future years.”

Last year, the governor signed the landmark health care legislation creating Cascade Care, the nation's first public option health insurance plan. This came after several years of hard work to expand and protect healthcare under the Affordable Care Act.

Representative Eileen Cody, who sponsored the legislation & chairs the House Health Care and Wellness Committee, thanked the governor for his continuing work to implement the program.

"We are the first in the nation to pass legislation creating a public option, and now we must continue to blaze that trail to offering Cascade Care plans to Washingtonians. I applaud the governor’s decision to continue on this path," Cody said.

Senator David Frockt, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, also praised the governor’s continuing commitment.

“I'll do whatever I can to help see this and other measures through and keep people in this state covered. With great crisis comes great opportunity if we are creative and seize on it,” Frockt said.

Read the full letter.

Background: Washington state to launch first-in-the-nation health care option for all and new long-term care program

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