Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, was elected by his caucus today to serve as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Health Care Committee. Senator Frockt served on the Health Committee during his first two years in the State Senate in 2012-13.

“I’ve fought for affordable, high-quality health care for Washingtonians my entire career, and I look forward to continuing this work,” said Frockt. “Washington has been a national leader in health care reform, but we need to make sure that people are able to access the health care they need, and that the Washington model bends the cost curve on care delivery, premiums and deductibles.”

Frockt highlighted several issues as key legislative priorities in the health care field, including expanding the supply of medical professionals in underserved areas, improving access to dental care, and making sure that the Health Benefit Exchange operates effectively.

“The Affordable Care Act was a step forward to provide health coverage and economic security from bankruptcy for hundreds of thousands of people,” said Frockt. “Now we need to focus on health care delivery. Do we have the medical professionals we need? Are they in-network for people’s insurance plans? Are we delivering the most effective care and procedures possible? These are the challenges we need to solve next.”

Frockt has already introduced legislation for the upcoming session to increase funding for the Health Professional Loan Repayment program, which helps medical professionals repay their student loans if they commit to working in rural and underserved areas currently facing a critical shortage of doctors, nurses and dentists.

Frockt was also elected to serve on the Higher Education and Trade and Economic Development committees, both issues important to the communities in the 46th district.

“Keeping higher education accessible and affordable is a top priority for families and students in our community,” said Frockt. “I’ll fight to hold the line on tuition at our colleges, expand financial aid and for opportunities for students to study the science, technology and engineering programs that prepare students for the good jobs of the future.”

Frockt will also be continuing his work to fully fund our K-12 education system to meet our McCleary obligation and to pass a balanced transportation investment package.