'Barely half of Washington employers offer health coverage to full-time employees,' writes John Burbank in heraldnet.com. He says that the health coverage scene is 'dismal' in the state.
He analyses how Washington's own solution for health care, the Basic Health Plan has also been a target for cuts from time to time. Enrollment and funding have gradually been squeezed down, even while the need for health coverage grew year after year. Today, 1 million people in Washington have no health coverage, and the remaining 35,000 people on Basic Health Plan may lose it if funding is cut.
AdvertisementThe federal government proposes to fund health coverage only from 2014, as part of the Affordable Care Act. 'Should we just let people hang out there for two years, with disease, injury and death hanging over their heads?' Burbank asks.
The solution to the problem, he suggests, lies in selling revenue bonds. 'Rep. Hans Dunshee (D-Snohomish) has proposed that the state sell revenue bonds by pledging about 40 percent of the remaining stream of tobacco settlement as payment. This would generate $350 million to finance Basic Health,' he says.
In this way, about 100,000 people would retain or gain health coverage.