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Universal Health Care Commission

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In 2021, Washington state took the lead by creating the Universal Health Care Commission.

The purpose of the commission is to:

  • Create immediate and impactful changes in the health care access and delivery system in Washington.
  • Prepare the state for the creation of a health care system that provides coverage and access for all Washington residents through a unified financing system, once the necessary federal authority has become available.
  • Submit a baseline report by November 2022.

Our impact:

  • We actively support the work of the UHCC through our relationships with allied organizations and UHCC members.
  • We recommended five of the six public members of this 15-member body, including the Chair, Vicki Lowe. Click here to learn more about Commission members.
  • We submit live and written public comments.
  • We encourage our members to tell their personal stories.
  • We provide links and updates and recaps of the meetings.

Meet the Commission members at our 2nd Wednesday Speakers Series.


Universal Health Care Commission 

HCA Universal Health Care Work Group 2021

The Latest: November FTAC Recap: Can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear

By Consuelo Echeverria 

In Nov, the FTAC addressed the UHCC request to focus on Coverage/Enrollment with an in-depth explanation of how Medicaid works in WA and potential opportunities for Medicaid under a universal health care system. While Medicaid in WA certainly is trying to be inclusive and equitable there are some issues with trying to expand this approach into a universal system.

  • Overutilization is pitched as the driver of high health care costs while the high administrative costs built into the medical industrial complex was left open.
  • An attempt to consolidate and better manage MCOs to control costs will not fix the basic  issue of capitation with high rates of denials to maximize profits.
  • While rate normalization is seen as a complex problem in the current system, a simple single-payer model is the most cost-effective solution.

As one commentator mentioned, “WA has done a good job of making the existing system work.  But it’s expensive and takes a lot of work, which is why we need to take a different tack.”  

The current system is a prime example of why the FTAC’s time would be better spent analyzing   the unified single payer system presented in the Washington Health Trust, which is modeled on HCFA-WA’s Washington Health Security Trust.    

Join us as we track the next meeting of the UHCC on Thursday, December 14, 2023, 2-4 p.m.

We encourage you to:

Catch up on past UHCC and FTAC meetings

These meetings continue to welcome public comments. 

Sign up to provide public comment by 5 p.m. the day before the meeting occurs. 

Pro Tip: Subscribe to Health Care Authority (HCA) email updates to receive announcements of future meetings in your own inbox.

Read past recaps:

Take action: Attend upcoming UHCC and FTAC meetings and add your voice

The Universal Health Care Commission (UHCC) and the Finance Technical Advisory Committee (FTAC) meet every two months on Zoom. Meetings are open to the public and your voice is needed.

Mark your calendar:

  • UHCC - Thurs., Dec. 14th, 2-4 pm

To view UHCC and FTAC meetings materials and to receive updates, see the following resources:

Connect with us

Stay informed about our work. Join our email list to receive action alerts, e.Bulletins, and meeting recaps.

Our challenge

Overview of Models A, B, and C developed from the UHC Work Group.


Model A

  • State administered health care that covers everyone
  • Most cost effective saving
    • $1.56 billion statewide the 1st year
    • $5.5 billion each year after

This is the system that HCFA WA has been advocating for years

Model B

Privately administered by health insurance companies that cover their enrollees limited reduction in administrative costs, saving approximately $783 million the first year.

Model C

  • Privately administered
  • Covers the currently uninsured including undocumented immigrants
  • Would cost the state $617 million in the first year.

Click here to learn more about these models at the Health Care Authority.

Assessment criteria

Each model was assessed by the following criteria

  • Access:
    • comprehensive medically necessary health care for everyone.
  • Equity:
    • quality care for everyone.
  • Governance:
    • transparent, accountable and highly responsive governance that includes Tribal Sovereignty
    • patient voices to ensure person-centered care
  • Quality:
    • measurable improvements and transparency
  • Affordability:
    • affordable to consumers, health care professionals and the state.
  • Administration:
    • manages costs effectively and drives out waste.
  • Feasibility:
    • politically, financially, and administratively achievable system.

Lack of political will

Even though Model A surpassed the other models in 6 of the 7 criteria, it was found to be the least feasible politically even though it saved the state millions in administrative and real costs.

What they mean by least feasible is a lack of political will.

This is our challenge!

Add your voice to make universal health care feasible for all Washingtonians.

Sign up below to add your voice.

Other Boards and Commissions

Health Care Cost Transparency Board

Total Cost of Insulin Work Group

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