I am currently reviewing the Senate’s healthcare bill to see if it meets the high standards patients in Washington State and throughout the country expect and deserve. It is clear our current health care system is not living up to its promises. Just this week, Washington’s Insurance Commissioner announced that in 2018 our state will be losing 2 more insurers and 80 health plans – more than 50 percent of our current plans. Premiums are also expected to go up an average of 23.3 percent across the state. This continues the troubling trend of fewer health insurers offering fewer plans while premiums and out of pocket expenses continue to rise. In fact, there is now an entire county in our state - Klickitat - where no plans will be offered in 2018.
This is not a status-quo we can accept. Congress must work to fix this broken system, but we must do it while protecting the most vulnerable in our communities, including children on Medicaid, people with preexisting conditions, and older Americans. These always have been and will continue to be my healthcare priorities. I look forward to working with both my Senate and House colleagues on crafting a bill that meets these high standards.
Sitting Down with Young Local Leaders
This week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Rhea Karin of Mt. Si High School to discuss her experience with the young women’s leadership program, Running Start. Rhea came prepared with thoughtful questions including, how to increase bipartisanship in Congress, in Washington State, and throughout the country. I can tell she has an impressive career ahead of her!
Outlining Trade Priorities for Washington
On Thursday, the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. I talked about how important trade is to Washington and asked Ambassador Lighthizer about the Administration’s plans to expand and strengthen America’s trade relationships with our foreign partners. I strongly believe we must pursue new bilateral agreements because we cannot be left behind as our competitors race forward with other agreements. I look forward to working with the Ambassador and the Administration to make sure we grow America’s economy and increase opportunities for Washington’s farmers, workers, business owners, and consumers. Click HERE to listen to the questions I asked Ambassador Lighthizer.
Change in Ellensburg Mobile Office Date
Due to the Fourth of July holiday, my mobile office hours in Ellensburg have been rescheduled from July 5th to July 12th. The office hours are a great opportunity for residents in Kittitas County to sit down with a member of my staff and discuss any concerns they may have. For more information about future dates and how to schedule an appointment, please click HERE.
Recognizing Immigrant Heritage Month
During Immigrant Heritage Month, it’s important to recognize the great spirit and desire for a better life that lives within our nation’s immigrants today and those before them. America’s immigrants have made tremendous contributions to the United States, and we must prioritize working toward a long-term immigration solution that secures our border while protecting the children, families, and workers who want nothing more than a chance at achieving the American Dream. To listen to my remarks about Immigrant Heritage Month on the House floor, click HERE.
Preparing Our Children for the Economy of Today
The economy of today is very different from the economy of yesterday. If we want our children to be successful, we must give them the tools, resources, and skills to compete and thrive. That’s what the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act works to achieve. I was proud to join my colleagues in the U.S. House in passing this important legislation. To learn more about the bill, click HERE.
With the summer months ahead of us, please look to the State Department’s Passport and International Travel website for further information and processing times for applications. If there are any delays, do not hesitate to contact my Issaquah office for assistance.
Have a safe and wonderful weekend and I will speak with you next time!