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April 12, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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State lawmakers reach deal on budget after marathon negotiations

Protected health-care access

Over the past six months, as the state Legislature vehemently debated the budget, patients at Country Doctor and health centers across the state have been terrified by the threatened loss of programs they have come to depend on to help pay for medications, specialty care or hospital costs.

Finally, we can tell our patients that the Legislature did the right thing in protecting the health-care safety net by funding Disability Lifeline, Basic Health and Apple Health for Kids. [“Lawmakers wrap up session after marathon negotiations,” NWThursday, April 12.] I applaud state legislators for recognizing that preventive primary care is better for the state and its people, saving millions of dollars and supporting healthy communities by reducing expensive health crises and emergency-room use.

House Speaker Frank Chopp deserves particular credit for never giving up on struggling families, children and the disabled. He tirelessly worked to protect these critical programs to ensure healthy and productive communities, now and into the future.

— Linda McVeigh, Seattle

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