Governor Appoints NFIB to Health-Care Committee

Date: June 17, 2014

“I believe you will be of great value to help fulfill the charge … to identify and recommend standard statewide measures of health performance to inform public and private purchasers and to propose benchmarks to track costs and improvements in health outcomes. Congratulations on your appointment” 

So wrote Gov. Jay Inslee in a letter naming NFIB/Washington State Director Patrick Connor to the state’s new Health Performance Measures Committee.

The Performance Measures Committee was created in House Bill 2572, the governor’s Health Care Innovation Plan, adopted by the Legislature earlier this year. The committee has until the end of the year to recommend standard criteria for measuring medical treatment results, allowing for comparisons between health care facilities and providers.

NFIB was a strong proponent of both the quality and cost-control measures contained in the bill. In fact, it was NFIB’s fierce testimony and the resulting media firestorm that forced the state Senate to restore these crucial components to the bill, over the adamant objections of the state’s largest health insurance carrier, Premera.  That battle is chronicled here.

It may seem surprising to some observers that NFIB, an ardent foe of the federal Affordable Care Act, would join forces with Governor Inslee and Rep. Eileen Cody to push the bill forward, despite Republican opposition. But, as Connor explains, “Now that government is forcing every American to purchase health insurance from one of these carriers, or pay a penalty, government must do its part to help consumers get access to accurate, meaningful cost and quality data so they can find the best possible care at the price they can best afford.”

[Photo above, left to right: Rep. Eileen Cody, chairwoman of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee; NFIB/Washington State Director Patrick Connor; Rep. Dawn Morrell, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health & Human Services; and Jason McGill, Governor Inslee’s health policy advisor.]

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