What They’re Watching: Rep. Eileen Cody

Representative Eileen Cody represents Washington’s 34th Legislative District and is the Chair of the House Health and Wellness Committee. Cody has long been a health policy leader in Washington State’s legislature, having worked on issues such as implementation of the Affordable Care Act, mental health parity, and patient safety improvements. She joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss addressing the total cost of care.

 

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“I would say the biggest issue that I’m concerned about and working on is looking at the total cost of care. And setting up basically a workgroup or board…that would get the data and look at the total cost of care that the state of Washington is spending on health care so that we can start moving forward with the goal of not spending over the rate of inflation. And I want to see us be able to bring up the Medicaid rates as we bring down the private market — which the private market for us also would be the group market, which is the state employees — and now that we have the teachers we’re paying a higher rate for those. So, we can bring that down and bring up Medicaid stopping some of the cost shift.

I think that everybody is concerned about the rising costs of health care. I mean, we have been concerned for years but we just don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. But I know that both sides of the aisle are concerned about it, specifically because we see more Republicans out of rural areas and they don’t have enough of the group market for that cost shift. So, they definitely want to see Medicaid rates come up, and we all want to make sure that we have a health care system that’s good across the whole state, whether it be urban or rural. So, that’s why I think that there’s more interest now in looking at it and trying to figure out how do we do a fair appropriation with the rates.”