Sen. Pedersen Newsroom

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    Legislators voice support for equal healthcare coverage for transgender Washingtonians

Legislators voice support for equal healthcare coverage for transgender Washingtonians

The lesbian and gay members of the Washington State Legislature applaud Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s announcement that, in accordance with both the Affordable Care Act and Washington’s 2006 anti-discrimination law, that health insurance plans sold in Washington state must provide medically necessary care for transgender Washingtonians.

“I am proud that once again Washington is leading the country in treating its LGBT citizens equally and with respect.  Transgender people deserve equal access to the healthcare system for their particular needs,” said Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle.

Currently, most insurance plans contain exclusions for medically necessary treatments for the transgender community.  These exclusions are used to deny care.  Even treatments such as hormone replacement therapy and counseling that are covered for non-transgender Washingtonians are denied to transgender Washingtonians.

State Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, had this to say in response to the announcement, “In spite of the fact that this discrimination is illegal, it continues.  Coming from a public health background, I know the importance of providing quality care.  Categorically denying this to transgender people is unacceptable. I am gratified that Washington is now on a clear path to providing medically necessary care to all members of our community.”

Across the country, medical health experts have stressed the need to provide equal access to healthcare for transgender Americans. Recently, the Obama administration announced that transgender people who receive Medicare would not be denied coverage. State and Federal governments are requiring insurance companies to provide parity.

“This is not only a civil rights issue, it’s an economic issue,” said Sen. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo. “More than four in 10 transgender Washingtonians attempt suicide, and the follow-up care costs about $7,000 per incident. Cities, employers and states that provide this benefit report that the cost is negligible and has not affected premiums.”

“Ensuring that transgender Washingtonians have access to life-saving care is about basic humanity,” said Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver.  “We know that transgender people who receive the care have far better outcomes than those that do not. It would be wrong to continue to allow so many of our brother and sisters to be plagued by suicide attempts when we can prevent them.”

“As we fight to improve health outcomes across our state, this is an important step to ensure quality care for transgender Washingtonians.   This is about civil rights, and it’s about embracing access as a core principle for all members of our community,” concluded Rep. Brady Walkinshaw, D-Seattle.


June 25th, 2014|Uncategorized|

43rd District Legislative Report


May 15th, 2014|Uncategorized|
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    New Seattle University license plate provides boost to scholarship programs

New Seattle University license plate provides boost to scholarship programs


Sen. Jamie Pedersen joined Gov. Inslee to sign legislation creating a new Seattle University license plate.

OLYMPIA — Seattle University will soon have its own specialty license plate.

The bill (HB2100) creating the plate was the last piece of legislation introduced by Sen. Jamie Pedersen in the state House before he joined the Senate late last year. Proceeds collected from the new plates go toward scholarships for current and incoming students.

“The 43rd district is proud to be the home of Seattle University,” Pedersen said. “The new license plate will provide revenue for Seattle University’s scholarship programs, including its Fostering Scholars program for youth that have been part of foster care.”

Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill Wednesday and the license plates will be available for purchase early next year.

March 13th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Sen. Pedersen’s legislative video update

February 20th, 2014|Uncategorized|

43rd District legislators to hold Feb. 22 town hall

Sen. Jamie Pedersen, House Speaker Frank Chopp and Rep. Brady Walkinshaw will be holding a legislative town hall on Feb. 22 at 1:30 p.m. at Seattle First Baptist Church on First Hill in Seattle.

The lawmakers are taking a brief pause from the 2014 legislative session in Olympia to hear what’s on the minds of their constituents in the 43rd Legislative District. The event is free and open to all constituents of the 43rd Legislative District, which includes Capitol Hill, University District, Madison Park, Broadmoor, Montlake, Wallingford, Eastlake, Greenlake and parts of Fremont, Ravenna, South Lake Union and downtown Seattle.

The 2014 legislative session began in January and will continue through mid-March.

February 10th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Pedersen discusses health care issues on TVW

January 30th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Sen. Pedersen’s legislative update

January 23rd, 2014|Uncategorized|

Sen. Pedersen on TVW’s The Impact

January 14th, 2014|Uncategorized|
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    Pedersen chosen for committee seats on Health Care, Law and Justice

Pedersen chosen for committee seats on Health Care, Law and Justice

OLYMPIA – Sen.  Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, has been chosen by his colleagues to serve as the ranking member on the Senate Health Care Committee as the legislature convenes the 2014 session.

“I am excited about the opportunity to work on helping people in our state have access to affordable, quality healthcare,” Pedersen said.

The Senate Democratic Caucus announced committee changes for the session, which started Monday. Pedersen will also serve on the Senate Law and Justice Committee and the Trade and Economic Development Committee.

Pedersen, who represents the 43rd Legislative District, served as the chair of the House Judiciary Committee for five years before his appointment to the Senate in December.

January 13th, 2014|Uncategorized|
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    Pedersen sworn in as senator for the 43rd Legislative District

Pedersen sworn in as senator for the 43rd Legislative District

State Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, was sworn into office to represent the 43rd Legislative District on Monday night at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall.

Pedersen replaces former Sen. Ed Murray, who resigned following his election as mayor of Seattle in November. The King County Council unanimously approved Pedersen’s appointment earlier in the day.

Pedersen has served since 2006 in the State House, where he was chair of the House Judiciary Committee. He also served on the House Appropriations Committee, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government, and the House Higher Education Committee.

“I am honored to serve the people of the 43rd Legislative District,” Pedersen said. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues in the Senate.”

He was joined by his family and Seattle Mayor-elect Murray during the ceremony, which took place prior to a performance by the Seattle Men’s Chorus. Pedersen has sung with the chorus since 1996. Pedersen lives on Capitol Hill with his husband, Eric Pedersen, and their sons Trygve, Leif, Erik and Anders.

December 20th, 2013|Uncategorized|