Elections

Jay Inslee announces health care platform in Federal Way

Democrat Jay Inslee and local citizen activist Regina Owens are seen at Dr. Ted Bridges’ office in Federal Way on Sept. 20. Inslee, a candidate for governor, discussed his health care platform. - Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror
Democrat Jay Inslee and local citizen activist Regina Owens are seen at Dr. Ted Bridges’ office in Federal Way on Sept. 20. Inslee, a candidate for governor, discussed his health care platform.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror

Jay Inslee, the Democratic candidate for Washington governor, discussed his health care platform Sept. 20 at the medical office of Dr. Ted Bridges in Federal Way.

In a media-only event, Inslee announced his plans for reforming health care in Washington state, if he is elected in November over Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Inslee guaranteed that every Washington resident will have access to affordable health care, insurance and doctors. He supports Medicaid expansion, with incentives for preventive care that can keep more people out of emergency rooms and bring efficiency to the overall system, he said.

"We have got to build a health care system, not just a sick care system," Inslee said in Federal Way.

Inslee proposed the removal of a "hidden tax" on health insurance premiums, he said. Inslee advocated to "take the load off our shoulders and put it on to the federal government."

Rob McKenna, the Republican candidate for governor, has been a prominent figure in the state's health care debate.

McKenna was among Attorneys General from 26 states to take legal action against the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare. The Supreme Court upheld the law. In the past, McKenna has spoken about his involvement in the lawsuit and stances on health care at community meetings in Federal Way.

McKenna supports Medicaid reform and said the state should reward preventive care. The Medicaid reform will require negotiations with the federal government and more flexibility for the state, McKenna said in a recent news conference.

McKenna also states his platform on health care on his website:

"With a state budget already constrained and the need to properly fund other priorities like K-12 and higher education, we simply cannot afford to replace private investments consisting of employer and employee premium contributions with new entitlement spending."

About the candidates

Jay Inslee vacated his U.S. Congress seat earlier this year to focus on running for governor in 2012. Inslee represented Washington's 1st congressional district, which includes Edmonds and Bainbridge Island, from 1999-2012.

Rob McKenna was elected to state Attorney General in 2004 and 2008. He had previously served several terms on the King County Council, starting in 1996. He represented Bellevue, Mercer Island, Kirkland, Newcastle and the Renton area.

In the August primary election, Inslee received 47 percent of the vote over Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna's 43 percent. In King County, Inslee received 59 percent and McKenna received 35 percent in the primary.

 

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