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Thursday, June 4, 2009

The recently enacted state budget made deep cuts to the Basic Health Plan (BHP), which is the state program that provides affordable managed care health insurance to lower income Washingtonians who do not qualify for Medicaid. Because of the cuts, the number of people receiving health insurance through the plan will be reduced by 36,000.

But disenrolling participants is only one part of the picture. The budget cuts are coming at a time when the need for the BHP is growing dramatically. As shown below, between the end of the legislative session and yesterday, the number of people on the waiting list for BHP has grown by over 14,000 people. That’s an average of 386 per day.

This year the state will take an enormous step backwards in our commitment to ensuring quality and affordable health insurance for all. It is a step that could have been ameliorated by a modest sales tax increase.

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