Opinion: Delay legislation on long-term-care law has hearings scheduled for next week

Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center looks ahead to the first week of the legislative session and what is scheduled for the long-term care law discussion

Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center looks ahead to the first week of the legislative session and what is scheduled for the long-term care law discussion.

Elizabeth Hovde
Washington Policy Center

House Bill 1732 was pre-filed on Jan. 3 and already has hearings scheduled next week (Jan. 11 and Jan. 13). The bill would “delay the implementation of the long-term services and supports trust program by 18 months.” 

Elizabeth Hovde
Elizabeth Hovde

While delaying the program and payroll tax that starts this month would allow lawmakers to amend the law in ways that make its unfair eligibility provisions less unfair, delaying implementation only stops the misguided plan for a while. 

Repeal is the way to go. Delay and other so-called “fixes” ignore the program’s trouble with an inadequate benefit and offers of false security, could add to the program’s solvency concerns and are unfair to Washingtonians who played by the state’s rules and obtained private insurance plans for long-term care. They’re paying for those plans already. There is no delay. Repeal bills also have been prefiled, but they have not yet been scheduled for hearings. 

Elizabeth Hovde is a senior policy analyst and director of the Centers for Health Care and Worker Rights at the Washington Policy Center. She is also a Clark County resident.

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