Initiative 2124

NO on I-2124

Initiative 2124 is an initiative to the 2024 Washington State Legislature that would sabotage the Washington Cares Fund, which helps Washingtonians access long-term care. The House and Senate did not act on it and consequently, it will be before voters in the November 2024 general election.

Basic facts

Ballot Title:Initiative Measure No. 2124 concerns state long term care insurance.

This measure would provide that employees and self-employed people must elect to keep coverage under RCW 50B.04 and could opt-out any time. It would also repeal a law governing an exemption for employees.

Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Ballot Summary: This measure would amend state law establishing a state long term care insurance program to provide that employees and self-employed people must elect to keep coverage under RCW 50B.04, allow employees to opt-out of coverage under RCW 50B.04 at any time, and repeal a current law governing exemptions for employees who had purchased long term care insurance before November 1, 2021.
Filed on:June 13th, 2023 at 10:32 AM
Certified:January 25th, 2024 (by random sample check)
Petition Information:The Secretary of State’s office reported receiving 26,154 petition sheets for I-2124 bearing 427,481 signature lines. 10,552 of those signatures were selected for a three percent random sample check. 10,579 were accepted and 2,273 were deemed to be duplicate or invalid. More details are available here.
Sponsor:Republican State Party Chair Jim Walsh
Principal Funder:Multimillionaire hedge fund manager Brian Heywood
Complete Text:Available (PDF)

Why we oppose I-2124

I-2124 would effectively eliminate long term care coverage for Washington’s seniors by slashing funding for the Washington Cares Fund (WA Cares). This would mean millions would go without home care, family caregiving, home modifications, and so much more. 

As we age, seventy percent of us will wind up needing long-term care — getting help with meals, chores, and daily tasks are all things that help us live in our own homes for longer, but many cannot afford this assistance. WA Cares works by automatically contributing 0.58 percent of your paycheck into a fund you can access when you need assistance or long-term care after an accident, surgery or as you age. Eliminating funding for WA Cares means that none of us will be able to access the long-term care benefits we need unless we pay for private insurance. I-2124 would take away benefits from working Washingtonians who have earned them by paying into the system. 

I-2124 is designed to force the WA Cares Fund to fail. By making it optional to pay into the program, it will create a destructive dynamic where the fund will not have enough money to operate, resulting in its collapse. Washingtonians will once again only have the option of buying long-term care through expensive private insurers, which typically only the wealthiest can afford. 

Most Washingtonians will need assistance as we age through caregivers or home modifications we need to continue living at home and WA Cares provides that to all of us. It’s critical that we stand together and work to improve WA Cares rather than sabotaging it.

Vote NO on I-2124.

Downloadable one-page fact sheet

Wintertime fiscal assessment by OFM

OFM is the Office of Financial Management. Among its responsibilities is assessing the fiscal impact of proposed legislation, whether that legislation comes from the people or the people’s elected representatives. Below you’ll find OFM’s wintertime fiscal assessment of Initiative 2124, prepared during the legislative session. Note that this document contains legal and technical jargon.

Seattle Channel debate on I-2124 with proponents