The Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority this month awarded the Economic Opportunity Institute a renewable $100,000 grant to develop policies for the preservation and expansion of health coverage at the county and state levels, and prevent losses from the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Through June 2018, EOI will use the money to research:
- Ways to close the gaps for groups with the highest disparities in health coverage — including low-wage workers, the unemployed, part-time workers, non-citizens, Latinos, Native Americans, and rural communities
- Methods to make coverage affordable in premiums and out-of-pocket costs
- Changes needed to address health coverage policy changes at the federal level and mitigate negative repercussions
Health coverage in King County, Washington State, and our country as a whole is under siege, as Congress debates how to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that 32 million people will lose their health coverage over the next decade if the ACA is repealed, and insurance premiums will double.
Washington State cannot wait and see how bad things will become. We must prepare alternative policies at the state, county, and city levels to retain health coverage. In fact, we can embody Washington State’s trailblazing spirit by instead expanding healthcare affordability and coverage – determining policies that will provide the templates for other states and for politicians in DC.
The project includes convening one-on-one meetings with key stakeholders in the development and administration of the current health coverage regime across the political spectrum. EOI will also convene a working group that includes practitioners, patient advocates, the business community, labor representatives, community-based organizers, insurance carriers, state agencies and other system experts in order to develop concrete policy options. The project will be led by EOI Executive Director John Burbank and Health Policy Associate Carolanne Sanders, with assistance from Health Policy Intern Christina Leal.
In 2015, the PHPDA funded EOI’s data analysis and research on the impact of the ACA in King County and Washington State, with a focus on disparities by race, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.
We are so grateful for the PHPDA’s generosity, which will result in expanded health coverage access and affordability in King County and in Washington State overall.