Policy Documents

Health Insurance Meltdown in Washington State

Conrad Meier –
December 1, 1999

In this white paper, Conrad Meier asserts that President Clinton claims the rising number of uninsured Americans is due to Congress' failure to pass his plan for nationalizing health care. Contrary to his predictable spin, the growing national population of uninsured citizens is a cancer clearly identifiable at the state level, with Washington state becoming a textbook case for legislators and single-payer advocates, and not because the Legislature failed to implement health-care reforms, but precisely because they did!

The state of Washington experience is one we should not discharge with a cavalier wave of the hand. It has national implications of an epidemic spreading across this land, with no one immune. The experience allows us to see things others don't or refuse to see; the experience helps us to find opportunities others miss or chose to ignore: the experience gives us perspective on negative long-term consequences where others seek short-term solutions; and the experience teaches us that unless we learn from our mistakes, we are destined to repeat our failures on a national scale.