Thursday, September 24, 2020
Sept. 24, 2020

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Some Republicans support plan to explore universal health care

By , Columbian political reporter

The Legislature could be taking an even broader look at how health care is delivered in the state.

Last month, the Senate passed Senate Bill 5822 that would establish a workgroup to look into establishing a universal health care system.

The bill is currently in the House Rules Committee, and some Republicans have expressed support for it.

“It always bothers me to continue to vote ‘no’ on these issues, and it will continue to bother me until I can see something that is affordable and will cover many individuals,” said Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, before voting for the bill earlier this month in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.

Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, said that she sees the bill as the next step in forming a vision for what the state wants to achieve with health care.

“Universal health care continues to be our long-term goal,” said Cleveland. “As a society and as a country, we are going to have to once and for all bridge this philosophical question of is (health care) a right or a privilege.”

For Cleveland, the answer is clear. “It’s a human right, absolutely,” she said.