Opinion: Senators seek delay for long-term care law, payroll tax

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.

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

Elizabeth Hovde
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.

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Mike Harris
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Mike Harris
18 days ago

This is nothing more than the Democrats trying to get a state income tax started. They figure if they call it something related to health care they will get support. Some more smoke and mirrors by the democrats to dig deeper into into your pocket.

Grant bunder
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Grant bunder
17 days ago

Anyone who wants to opt out needs to get LTC insurance on their own but there is no stand alone insurance available….. the good news is you can get Universal Life insurance with an LTC Ryder pretty easily. If you don’t opt out you will be locked in for the rest of your life.

Richard
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Richard
17 days ago

As is so common these days, articles such as this one are bereft of hard, clear, explanation of the comments made by Elizabeth Hovde.

For example: “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.”

This does not explain, nor does the letter to the Governor Jay Inslee, exactly why the opinions of the Senators are factual. Anyone can write an article such as this without pertinent factual data to support their opinion. This is incomplete and I think most all of us readers would welcome a more thorough, though not too long to read, followup article so we know exactly why they oppose this.

Chris Cyborg
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Chris Cyborg
17 days ago

A quick reason why you don’t want this so called Long Term Care insurance ( actually a sneaky income tax ).

1)This is actually an income tax don’t be fooled that it is anything other
2)You cannot use this insurance for 10 years from the time you start paying into it
3)The maximum benefit you can ever get from this insurance is 36500 or about $100 a day for a year….this is a complete joke which would barely pay for your meals
4) If you leave the state such as move away you cannot use the insurance it is void
5) If you don’t opt out of the insurance you will pay 0.5 percent (half a percent) of your pay check for the rest of your life while you live in Washington state

This is an income tax nothing more nothing less….what a complete sham this state has become trying to sneak income tax under the noses of the citizens.

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