The Washington Association of Community and Migrant Health Centers (WACMHC) promotes public policies that increase access to health care and reduce the number of uninsured people in our state. We partner with the Community Health Network of Washington (CHNW) on state policy and advocacy.
2015 State Legislative Priorities
During the upcoming legislative session, WACMHC, along with CHNW will be advocating for the following:
- Protect existing health care safety net programs
- Support community health center funding from marijuana revenues
- Expand the state's health professional loan repayment program
- Promote behavioral health integration in primary care
- Evaluate affordability and continuity of coverage.
To learn more about these priorities, please read our full please read our full Legislative Agenda and position papers on the health care safety net, loan repayment program, behavioral health integration, and affordability and continuity of coverage.
To learn more about our Medical outreach and enrollment priorities, please see position paper.
Overview of Governor Inslee’s 2015 -2017 Proposed budget
On December 18, 2014, Governor Inslee announced his 2015-2017 proposed budget which he describes as "reinvesting in Washington."
Overall, the Governor says his budget focuses on (1) stronger schools; (2) healthier kids; (3) cleaner air; and (4) a fairer tax system. It does this by committing $2.3 billion to education. This includes dramatically cutting class sizes as mandated by I-1351, and meeting the state’s commitment to fund basic education fully a year ahead of schedule. It also includes a major investment in early learning, making targeted investment to increase student success and boost graduation rates, and freezes resident undergraduate higher education tuition. This budget calls for tax and revenue changes that will raise $1.4 billion over the biennium. The Governor proposes a new capital gains tax; increase the cigarette tax, repeal five tax breaks, and impose a market based carbon tax.
Notably, his budget:
- Recognizes the role of the state’s health professional loan repayment program in ensuring that there is an adequate workforce to meet the health care needs of the hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians that now have access to care.
- Follows the language of Initiative 502, by allocating some of the revenue generated by the distribution and sale of marijuana to community health centers to prove health and dental care services, migrant health services and maternity care services.
- Understands the need for continued outreach to special population to get them connected with health coverage.
The community health centers are pleased that the governor understands that the people of our state are finally getting relief and security through affordable health care coverage and adequate new revenue is need to protect existing essential programs and invest in others. These investments will improve health and lower the cost of care by providing preventive care at the right place and the right time.