KENNEWICK, Wash.—Two highly used health programs would be eliminated under Governor Chris Gregoire's proposed budget in order to fill the $5-billion deficit. However, now some of the services offered through the Basic Health Plan and Disability Lifeline have a chance of surviving.
Last week waivers for users were granted through a federal program. That means the state funded program would now be 40% covered by federal funds and would free up about $100-million.
However, a decision cannot be made until a budget plan is decided. If Governor Gregoire's proposed budget does pass cuts will start March 1st. About 60,000 people who use Basic Health would then have to either go to an emergency room or community health clinic.