Confusion, concern in Olympia about health exchange budget

  • By Donna Gordon Blankinship Associated Press
  • Wednesday, February 11, 2015 12:56pm
  • Local NewsNorthwest

SEATTLE — The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee has a message for the people who run the Washington health care exchange: Tell us exactly how you’re spending the taxpayers’ money or you won’t get any more state dollars to spend.

Rep. Ross Hunter says officials at the Health Benefit Exchange have been too vague on their budget request to satisfy lawmakers from both parties and both the Senate and the House.

Part of the problem is the exchange budget is dependent on information that won’t be available until after health insurance open enrollment ends this Sunday. Another issue: the exchange gets state, federal and corporate dollars, so their budget is a little more complicated than some other state agencies.

The exchange is asking the Legislature to OK $125 million for its operating budget for the next two years.

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