Inslee signs nation's first public-option insurance bill

Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeDe Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' Inslee gives public option first test in Washington state Overnight Energy: Dems dismiss Interior chief's work calendars as 'fake' | Buttigieg climate plan includes carbon tax | Poll finds growing number say climate is crucial 2020 issue MORE (D), a 2020 presidential candidate, signed off Monday on a first-in-the-nation public-option insurance plan. 

The state will offer public health care plans that cover standard services to all residents, regardless of income, by 2021, Inslee said at a press conference. 

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The plans will still be administered by private insurance companies, but the terms will be set by the state.

Inslee called the bill a "template" for the U.S.  

"While our state continues to lead in the national fight for health care for all, this is a way our state is taking action right now," he said. 

Other states like Colorado and New Mexico have proposed public options, but Washington is the first to pass legislation, a "tremendous accomplishment," Inslee said. 

The plans are expected to cost up to 10 percent less than private insurance, mostly due to caps on payments to doctors, hospitals and health care providers.

As presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message Buttigieg: The future 'is personal' for me Donald Trump, president for life? We need term limits now MORE’ Medicare for all bill continues to dominate the 2020 debate over health care, Inslee's plan represents a more modest approach to expanding access to coverage.

While Sanders's bill would largely eliminate private insurance, Inslee’s bill would expand the industry’s role in the state’s health care system.