Inslee plan for health subsidies echoes national debate

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A plan from Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee is bringing the national health care debate to Washington state.

Billed as a plan to fill in gaps in existing coverage, the proposal would broaden state subsidies for private insurance and create a state-contracted insurance option.

But a public hearing for the plan Monday at the state Legislature brought both concerns over costs and criticisms that it doesn’t go far enough, mirroring the national debate over proposals including universal Medicare.

The plan would require the state health care authority draw up plans for expanded individual subsidies in late 2020, and offer state-contracted plans the following year.