Legislative update from Joe Fitzgibbon and Eileen Cody

A quick update from your reps in the 34th as the 2017 Session goes into full swing

Stevie, playing out on the beach.

What’s Joe been up to since last session?

I spent much of the time since the 2016 session looking forward towards this session’s legislative priorities, ensuring that we are set up for success on important environmental issues including climate change, growth management, and restoring Puget Sound. With all that going on, I still found time to get outside and explore the natural beauty of our state. Among other great trips in 2016, I thoroughly celebrated the 100th year of our National Parks, visiting some of the many great parks in our country: Olympic, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and North Cascades. I am entering the 2017 session rejuvenated and ready to advocate for my fellow residents of the 34th and our shared environment.

Meet Stevie,

a 3-year-old beagle mix who came to me by way of a community shelter in Lynnwood this past May. Stevie isn’t just a cute face – she also wants to remind everyone of the importance of picking up after your dog. Whether your dog goes to the bathroom on a walk or in your own yard, it matters to clean up afterwards, because rainwater will wash harmful bacteria from dog waste into streams and ultimately to Puget Sound. As chair of the House Environment Committee, I support a healthy Puget Sound for our kids, our communities, and our economy.

Let’s see what’s on Eileen’s radar…

Since the 2016 session, I have been spending time hiking with my husband Tom, working at Group Health, and preparing a few bills.

Have you ever visited an emergency room, provided your insurance and paid your co-pay, only to find a bill mailed out weeks or even months later? More and more I’ve been hearing cases like these, with bills that can be catastrophic to the average working family’s budget. Over the last year, I’ve studied the issue, met with people impacted by these “balanced billing” issues, as well as representatives from the insurers, physicians, and hospitals.

What usually happens is you go to a hospital that is in your network, but the doctor that sees you is not in your network or the doctor orders blood work that is then sent to a lab outside your network. So, you get stuck with a much higher bill than you anticipated.

I’m working to end balanced billing. When you’re at the emergency room, the last thing on your mind is making sure the doctor treating you is covered by your insurance. Over the next few months, I hope to have good news on how my legislation will protect consumers from these hidden costs.

Thanks for reading!