One month into the new Congress and it’s already clear that neither party will make much progress advancing their vision for healthcare reform.
States are grabbing the baton. Colorado, Nevada, and Washington have all passed laws establishing a public health insurance option. Others, such as New Mexico and Minnesota, are considering doing the same. Washington state’s experience should stop them in their tracks — and serve as a cautionary tale to public option advocates in Congress.
Fewer than 800 Washingtonians signed up for Cascade Select, the state’s public option plan, in 2021, the first year it was available. Last year, enrollment grew to 6,335 — just 3% of the state’s exchange population.