This morning I was in Olympia to testify on two bills important to the MS community. The first bill (Senate Bill 5449) creates a plan for the dissolution of the Washington State Health Insurance Pool (WSHIP), the state's high risk pool. WSHIP was created in 2000 by the Legislature in response to the collapse of the individual health insurance market. It provides health coverage to people who have been denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Now, with the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer deny someone coverage (called guaranteed issue), and WSHIP will no longer be necessary. However, we don't want to close WSHIP until we know exactly what plans will be available to people with MS and other chronic conditions. Watch my testimony here:
In addition, the Senate Health Care Committee also had a hearing on a bill (Senate Bill 5519) to create a plan for financing long-term care in our state. In my testimony, I told the story of a gentleman from Spokane who has experienced significant challenges paying for home care. Watch that hearing below (my testimony is at the 1:14:00 mark).