Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Boosters take a big step forward Fired WSU football coach suing school over illegal termination Nearly 1,900 Washington state employees quit, fired over vaccine mandate 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.
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 SandersUnder pressure, Democrats cut back spending The Memo: Cuts to big bill vex Democrats Democrats say they're committed to reducing emissions in Biden plan 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.