Legislative update from Rep. Steve Tharinger — I want to hear from you!

This session will last 105 days and among the biggest issues we’re tackling are the same ones you deal with every month: how to pay for long-term costs.

Those costs include childcare when we’re lucky to give birth to a child and college tuition after they graduate from high school. It means affordable health insurance and mental health for family members along with saving for retirement and the costs of long-term care or a nursing home.

This week, I want to talk about recent action on health care, including solutions for long-term care and preventing our kids from becoming addicted to tobacco.

As always, hearing from you is incredibly important to me. Please share your comments, ideas and stories.

Everyone ages. How will you pay for long-term care?

One day, all of us will require some kind of assistance when we grow older—and you may be helping to care for your parents right now.

For far too many families in Washington, paying for this long-term care is a massive financial burden that can make people cash out of their retirement saving or even sell the family home.

Yet few people are actually saving for this inevitable cost, maybe because it’s hard enough to save money to pay for college tuition for your kids and your own retirement.

That’s why I’m proud to support the Long Term Care Trust Act (House Bill 1087).

This legislation addresses the financial sacrifices families in Washington are experiencing today by creating a new social insurance program to help with the cost of long-term care.

It’s incredibly important to tackle this problem as we’re hit with a demographic wave of Baby Boomers retiring and needing long-term care.

The Long Term Care Trust Act gives families a little breathing room as they take care of the ones they love. This investment in our grandparents, parents, and ourselves brings peace of mind and security for all needing long-term services and supportive care.

We can’t keep putting off saving for the future. The Long Term Care Trust Act is the right way to ensure all our families can pay for the care they need to take care of the ones they love.

I’m happy to say that this legislation passed out of the Health Care and Wellness Committee, which I serve on, and will now move on to the next step toward becoming law.

Preventing our kids from becoming addicted to tobacco

If you’re an adult who smokes, vapes or chews, that’s your choice and your right. What we don’t want is young kids–some as young as junior high or middle school–getting addicted to tobacco.

Research shows 90 percent of adult smokers got started when they were kids, and cigarettes are the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

This is why I support House Bill 1074, which would raise the legal age to buy tobacco to 21.

I’m happy to report that this legislation also passed out of the Health Care and Wellness Committee.

What do you think?

What do you think? I’m interested in your experiences with health care, especially long-term care and mental health care in the 24th District. If you have a loved one, neighbor or friend who’s experienced financial problems with long-term care or a nursing home, please get in touch with my office.

Mental health is also a big issue this session, with Gov. Jay Inslee and lawmakers from both chambers and both parties working to fix a broken system. I’d also be interested in your experiences and stories regarding mental health care in the 24th District.

Please share your comments, ideas and stories. You can reach me by phone, email or the toll-free Hotline at 800-562-6000.