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OLYMPIA – The Senate on Wednesday passed Senator Annette Cleveland’s (D-Vancouver) bill which will renew the tenure of the Joint Select Committee on Health Care.  

Senate Bill 5121 (HB 1119) also updates the name and responsibilities of the committee to include behavioral health oversight.  

The committee, which was first established in 2013, provides oversight between the Health Care Authority, Health Benefit Exchange, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, the Department of Health and the Department of Social and Health Services.  

Members of the committee, who include senators and representatives from both sides of the aisle, monitor each agency’s activities to ensure they are not duplicating their efforts. More importantly, they help ensure these agencies are working together toward the goal of increased quality of services, while reducing costs and increasing the affordability of health care. 

In addition to the existing goals of this committee, this bill adds behavioral health to the scope of work.

“As Chair of the Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee, one of my main priorities is addressing our mental health crisis. This bill seeks to continue the important work being done by the Joint Select Committee on Health Care and would expand the committee’s responsibility to include much-needed behavioral health oversight as we continue to integrate physical health with behavioral health services,” said Sen. Cleveland.  

The bill now awaits consideration by the House of Representatives.