Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center reports efforts by 23 Washington state senators to delay implementation of the state’s long-term care law
Washington Policy Center
A bipartisan group of 23 state senators is asking Gov. Jay Inslee to delay implementation of the state’s long-term care (LTC) law. The law creates an insurance-like program that Washington workers are forced to join — with a small exemption window that ends in October and is only available to some people. A payroll tax to fund this new program of 58 cents per $100 of income begins in January.
View the letter lawmakers sent to Gov. Inslee here.
In closing, the senators write, “It is clear that we should push pause on the new Long-Term Services and Supports program and WA Cares Fund. Your actions over the last eighteen months demonstrate that you will not hesitate to suspend the law when you think it is necessary. Please do not hesitate here to provide tax relief to employees and give them more time to find insurance that best suits their own needs.”
Is delay a possibility? After close watch and conversation with a variety of state and private players, I do not think delay is possible. Nor do I think it is the best solution.
Delay won’t be able to restore a market that has been disrupted by this state mandate, and income predictions suggest the state needs as many workers in this program as possible to make it float. That will dampen support for the idea. We remain convinced that repeal of the flawed law is the right avenue.
Don’t count on delay, and be sure to see a blog I wrote reminding people who have private LTC insurance to apply for their exemption on October 1st. Visit the exemption page of the WA Cares Fund on that date, if this applies to you.
Elizabeth Hovde is the director of the Center for Health Care and Center for Worker Rights at the Washington Policy Center.