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Articles written by Elizabeth Hovde

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  • Lawmakers failed on WA Cares changes

    Elizabeth Hovde|Updated Apr 10, 2024

    A state public-relations campaign is underway suggesting that because the state Legislature passed a bill allowing people to use a WA Cares Fund benefit to receive long-term care outside of the state, it’s a sure thing you’ll benefit. That’s not a sure thing. I received an email from the state about the legislation Friday. It read, “Planning to leave Washington in the future? Now you can take your WA Cares benefit with you, thanks to a new law passed last month and signed...

  • Paid leave is too high for wage earners

    Elizabeth Hovde, Washington Policy Center|Updated Nov 1, 2023

    What's the hourly wage of a Paid Family and Medical Leave recipient in Washington state? It's higher than I'm comfortable with. Lawmakers should explain to all workers why they think it is good policy to take money from low-income workers and give their money to people with ample resources. Using hourly wage estimates from the state Employment Security Department, here are the earnings of people who took the program's tax dollars in the past fiscal year (July 2022 through...

  • Another shot at WA Cares

    Elizabeth Hovde, Washington Policy Center|Updated Jul 13, 2023

    Let's Go Washington is taking aim at the WA Cares Fund and a payroll tax that workers started paying this month with an initiative campaign. Initiative 2124, an Initiative to the Legislature, would make participation in WA Cares optional instead of mandatory and allow workers a way out of the state-imposed, insurance-like program at any time. That would be welcome news to many people who have other life needs that demand the attention of their monthly incomes. This should be...

  • Poor now?

    Elizabeth Hovde, Washington Policy Center|Updated Jan 26, 2023

    The legislative session is in full swing, which means a lot of lawmakers are interested in picking winners and losers. Instead of creating equal opportunities, an equality of outcome is being sought. The Washington Future Fund, proposed in Senate Bill 5125 and House Bill 1094, is being heard this morning and later this week. Senate Democrats write that the bill “seeks to break the cycle of generational poverty by making a one-time deposit of $4,000 into an account for each b...

  • Long-term care is a life need

    Elizabeth Hovde, Washington Policy Center|Updated Nov 3, 2022

    There wasn't much notice for August's webinar hosted by the WA Cares Fund. It was titled, "Long-Term Care Planning for Near-Retirees." I finally went back for a watch. In addition to presentations from government employees about changes that were made for near-retirees in the last legislative session when it comes to WA Cares - the new social program supporters and public agency heads are trying to pass off as an insurance policy for workers, even calling a new payroll tax a...

  • New payroll tax in July 2023

    Elizabeth Hovde, Centers for Health Care and Worker Rights|Updated Nov 3, 2022

    A window to apply for an exemption from a payroll tax that begins in July 2023 is still open, but it will only be open for about two more months. It closes Dec. 31. If you’re one of the people who has private long-term-care insurance (LTCI), purchased before Nov. 1, 2021, you’ll want to jump through the exemption hoops available on the “Exemptions” page of the WA Cares website. WA Cares is a mandatory social program created by the Legislature in 2019 to benefit some Washing...

  • Hopeful messages on long-term-care fall short; exemptions continue

    Elizabeth Hovde, Washington Policy Center|Updated Jun 6, 2022

    Administrators of Washington state’s long-term-care law are hitting news outlets and providing health care writers with messages of hope about a social program they say will provide “peace of mind,” even though it does nothing of the sort. The government website selling the WA Cares program says, “By contributing a small amount from each paycheck while we’re working, we can all pay for long-term care when we need it.” But that’s far from the case. Washingtonians who move out...

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