Policymakers cite lawsuit as they delay long-term care (“We Cares Fund”) recommendations

The lawsuit challenging Washington’s long-term care legislation, which includes a new tax, has produced one outcome already. The Seattle Times reports,

A commission that steers Washington state’s new long-term care program voted Wednesday to delay making any recommendations to address various issues raised about the WA Cares Fund.

State lawmakers are expected to take a look at WA Cares when the Legislature reconvenes in January, particularly at the groups of people who are currently required to pay into the program’s payroll tax but will never receive any benefits.

On Wednesday, legislators on the Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Commission — which also includes advocates and other stakeholders — cited a new federal lawsuit brought against WA Cares as one reason to delay recommended changes.

They may yet take a look at recommendations before January.

The commissioners will have a chance to weigh in once more, during their December meeting, before the Legislature begins.

This caught our attention.

“I would much rather prefer saying that the Legislature should address these issues that are raised in the list of issues, but not recommend things today,” said Rep. Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, during the meeting.

“I’m very concerned about that lawsuit,” Chopp added. “I mean I’m not a lawyer, but I read the articles about it. It raises some questions and I’d like to have some answers.”

Like Chopp, we’re not a lawyer. But we agree, the suit raises a lot of valid questions.