WSHA’s 2021 Legislative Summary is now available digitally on the WSHA website, and physical copies will be mailed to hospital and health systems this week.
The annual publication highlights the association’s work during the state legislative session, including policy and budget priorities and a bill-by-bill breakdown of the results. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 legislative session was unlike any before it, with most legislative activities, including negotiating bills and public testimony, taking place virtually. Nevertheless, lawmakers concluded their “long” 105-day session on time, finalizing the budget for the 2021–23 biennium.
The top priority for lawmakers this year was addressing the impacts of COVID-19, as the pandemic entered its second year. Lawmakers passed financial relief measures, which included business and occupation (B&O) tax exemptions for COVID-19 grants, as well as liability protections for providers as they navigated rapidly changing situations and public health guidelines throughout the pandemic.
WSHA’s 2021 Legislative Summary is now available digitally on the WSHA website, and physical copies will be mailed to hospital and health systems this week.I am pleased to report that this year’s legislative session was largely positive for hospitals and health care, as we championed new legislation to improve health care delivery and mitigated the effects of many harmful bills.
The final budget includes spending priorities in public health, behavioral health and a broad array of social programs that also advance equitable access to care. I am especially pleased to report that WSHA’s budget request for difficult-to-discharge patients, behavioral health and post-partum Medicaid coverage were fully funded.
Thank you to all the WSHA members who engaged with lawmakers this session and took the time to testify on important bills! Your input and participation is instrumental to our legislative successes. Our team is now working to ensure hospitals know about the new laws and preparing for the 2022 legislative session.