An issue has arisen in Olympia that threatens to end licensed midwifery in Washington State almost immediately. We need your urgent help to make sure this does not happen.
Midwives and Birth Centers in Washington State can obtain Professional Liability Insurance from only one place: the JUA (Joint Underwriting Assoc, http://washingtonjua.com/). The JUA was set up by state law in 1994, and is funded primarily through midwife premiums. Senate Bill 5588 has a list of State Boards and Commissions that will be shut down as part of cost-cutting efforts, and for hard-to-fathom reasons, they’ve included the JUA in that list despite the fact that the JUA receives no state funding of any kind.
Without the JUA, midwives will not be able to get liability coverage, and therefore their services will not be covered by your health insurance. This will put midwives and birth centers immediately out of business.
We need you to call and email your representatives and senators in Olympia TODAY to tell them that this move will cost far more money than it saves, whilst also eliminating a much needed resource for women and their families. A recent Department of Health study found that midwives save the state $250,000 per year, and (if you include private insurance too) that number climbs to $1.3million per year. So clearly it makes no sense to eliminate midwifery in the pursuit of saving money.
Click here to find who your legislators are: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx
Please forward this email widely. It is going to take a lot of voices to get this bill altered.