Washington state can, should fund health care coverage for laid-off workers

Commentary | October 10, 2001 | By John Burbank | Tacoma News Tribune

We already have in Washington a state-subsidized health plan, the Basic Health Plan, which provides basic coverage to low-income working people whose employers do not provide health care coverage. Workers pay on a sliding-scale basis, with the state subsidizing the remaining cost. A family of four with a pre-tax income of $33,000 a year has to pay a premium-share of $180 a month in order to cover a mom and a dad aged 45. Already 125,000 people are covered through this program. So why not extend it to laid-off workers?

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