Health Care Reform
The WSMA has developed guiding principles for addressing reform as we work to influence the changes coming to health care. We have shared these principles with members of Congress and others as we work to maintain the good aspects of the Affordable Care Act, refine troublesome regulations that hinder good patient care, and look for opportunities to insert reforms that were missing the first time around.
WSMA Principles for Health Care Reform
- Pursue universal access to comprehensive, high-quality, safe, affordable health care for all Washingtonians through health care coverage options that are designed to encourage participation of physicians and practices.
- Ensure adequate funding of public programs such as Medicaid and Medicare in every community so that patients have access to affordable coverage and physicians receive adequate reimbursement.
- Develop a health care delivery system and payment models that enable medical practices to remain viable in their communities and promote cost-effective, quality health care.
- Preserve the ability of those who received access to insurance under the original Affordable Care Act to maintain coverage at affordable premium rates.
- Recent essential insurance market reforms should be preserved: no exclusion of coverage despite pre-existing condition; children should have the option to remain on their parents' plans through age 26; exclude lifetime caps on benefits; support for preventive care.
- Strengthen and stabilize the health insurance market, including the individual market, to ensure choice and the ongoing participation of a number of regional and national health insurers.
- Reduce regulatory and administrative burdens that impede physicians’ capacity to provide optimal, patient-centric care.
- Implement tort reform to preserve access to care and contain costs associated with “defensive medicine.”
- Ensure health care equity and access for minority, underserved, and special-needs populations.
- Seek solutions to achieve affordability of prescription drugs.