OLYMPIA, Wash. – More than 100 health care advocates gathered in Olympia in support of Medicaid expansion Thursday. It coincided with an announcement by Gov. Jay Inslee, unveiling his budget priorities. His proposal includes an expansion of Medicaid.

That pleases Lauren Granger, a healthcare worker at the rally.

“I really hope that the legislature hears this message and isn’t pinching pennies in the wrong place and just have it be more expensive later on,” she says.

Washington Governor Unveils Job Creation Plan

Feb 13, 2013

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled a series of proposals Wednesday in Olympia he’s hoping will create more jobs. The Democratic governor’s plan focuses on training for tech-savvy workers and funding transportation projects. He also says expanding Medicaid next year will lead to more than 10,000 new jobs within two years.

“Expansion of Medicaid is a system that will not only reach over 250,000 Washingtonians with health care, but will help job creation all across the state.”

A new federal waiver for Oregon includes a provision aimed at luring doctors to small towns. The state won final approval Monday from the Obama administration for plans to move ahead with big changes in health care.

Photo credit: Sarah Gilbert/ Flickr / KUOW

The state has been trying to crack down on ER visits for conditions that are not critical. But health care providers say the state’s policies go too far, they’re unsafe for patients, and will shift costs to hospitals.

Hospitals and emergency room doctors want to address the problem their own way. They’ve put together what they call best practices for reducing unnecessary ER visits. A key component of that is using an electronic health information system.