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Abstract

This Comment contends that if the "Every Category of Provider" statute had been properly limited, as intended and not as interpreted, it would not have met its ultimate fate of ERISA preemption. In order to show how this public interest legislation could remain in effect and provide at least minimal statutory support for consumer choice, an overview of Washington state health care reform, ERISA preemption, and the federal district court decision preempting the statute is necessary. In Part I, this Comment provides a brief history of the "Every Category of Provider" statute and the Bulletin. Part II contains a summary of the subsection of ERISA which governs preemption. Part III gives an overview of the federal district court decision and shows that the decision, rendering both the statute and its interpretation preempted by ERISA, was rightly decided. Finally, Part IV shows how, in hindsight, the litigation preempting the statute was unnecessary, and how the statute can be saved by revising it in accordance with the public policy underlying it.