Washington state plans universal health by 2012

Well, you've got to admit that they're not going for half-measures. In a move that exceeds the ambition of many states, Democratic leaders and state Governor Chris Gregoire committed this week to bringing universal healthcare to the state within five years. Their methods will include cutting down on emergency department overuse, improving use of technology, reducing costs and expanding the state-subsidized plan which helps to cover working poor residents. By implementing these strategies, the state hopes to cover all children by 2010, cover youths in foster care past their 18th birthdays, and ultimately, reach all of the state's nearly 600,000 uninsured. The proposal, which is known as the "Healthy Washington Initiative," would draw funds from individuals, employers and government, instituting a desirable level of shared responsibility, said Gov. Gregoire.

To get the details on Washington's plan:
- read this article from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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Universal health gains traction. Article

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