Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Just Fix It: health care
Posted by Letters editor
Taking care of those at the bottom
When the bottom falls out of a community, everything else comes tumbling down on top of it. That is what will happen if Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposal to eliminate the Basic Health Plan and Disability Lifeline is approved.
With no Basic Health Plan, 35,000 of our poorest will be without medical insurance; with no Disability Lifeline, 21,000 uninsured working poor will not receive cash grants to pay for their immediate daily needs, including medication.
The Seattle that will evolve from these cuts is a Seattle that few of us will be proud of. It will be a Seattle where more homeless are on the streets, where emergency rooms are pushed to the limit and where we are less safe.
There are options:
— Selectively close tax loopholes for corporations, assuring that all pay their fair share of taxes.
— Submit a tax referendum to a popular vote.
— Consider the governor’s proposed cuts in state pension benefits.
— Eliminate the automatic cost-of-living increase.
All of these come with a cost, but none as great as the price that the sick and poor will pay.
— Helen Donnelly Goehring, Seattle
Don’t give up on health-care programs
I’ve been a physician in the Rainier Valley for 22 years. This neighborhood has always been home to the most vulnerable people in Seattle, but it’s never been as tough as it is right now. This recession has pushed many families to the edge. They’ve lost their jobs, their insurance and too much of their hope. They’re struggling just to survive.
The legislature needs to show some courage and stand up for the thousands of people who are suffering right now. No one likes taxes, but the people of this state understand that if we give up on our neighbors, we give up our humanity.
The programs that provide health care for struggling families, children at risk and the disabled — those aren’t just extras and frills. They define our compassion and our caring for people less lucky than ourselves. If we lose them, we lose the best part of who we are.
— Jeff Lee, M.D., Seattle
Keep Basic Health and Disability Lifeline
Important health-care programs like Basic Health and Disability Lifeline are in serious danger if the Legislature doesn’t come up with new revenue to save them. We need to let the Legislature know that an all-cuts budget is not the solution.
Three years’ worth of cuts have not helped the people or economy of our state. We need new revenue to preserve the primary-care safety net, which is the most cost-effective way to ensure productive, healthy communities and protect the lives of hundreds of thousands of people struggling in this economy.
Please urge the legislature to put the people of Washington state first and keep our communities healthy.
— Suzanne Skinner, M.D., Seattle
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