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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

June 18, 2010 at 4:00 PM

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Federal Medicaid funding

Posted by Letters editor

Many will suffer if cuts are made

If federal funds to support increased demand for Medicaid are not made available to our state, it isn’t just legislators running for re-election who will suffer [“State shouldn’t bank on Medicaid money,” editorial, Opinion, June 13].

Sure, it will be difficult for legislators to cut $480 million from the state budget before elections. But it will be even more difficult for the working families who will suffer as a result of the budget cuts. Funding for health care and education likely will be slashed. Class sizes will grow. Community health clinics will close.

Lawmakers in our state have already cut nearly $4 billion from our state budget. If they have to make an additional $480 million in cuts, we’ll all suffer.

— Linda McVeigh, executive director, Country Doctor Community Health Centers, Seattle

No time to erode economic foundation

The Seattle Times editorial [on Medicaid funding] disregards one simple fact: Washington state legislators made nearly $4 billion in cuts to balance the 2009-2011 biennial budget. Making an additional $480 million in cuts would be devastating to the health and education services that hard-hit individuals and families need, and create more job losses in a prolonged downturn that is already slow to recover.

We need to preserve what remains of the foundation for a prosperous economy — well-trained workers and students who have access to affordable health care services. This is no time to further erode that foundation.

In fighting for funding for Washington state, Sen. Patty Murray isn’t just fighting to preserve the Medicaid extension, she’s fighting to preserve the values we share for a compassionate society with thriving communities and healthy people of all ages.

— Teresita Batayola, CEO, International Community Health Services, Seattle

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