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September 18, 2012 at 4:30 PM

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Medicaid expansion an element in campaign for governor

A bargain for our state

Thank you for the Truth Needle fact check on Medicaid expansion [“McKenna is correct on Medicaid, to a point,” Sept. 13, NWThursday]. As both a community health-care and emergency-care provider for hundreds of uninsured people in Seattle-King County, I know that Medicaid expansion is the right choice for our state.

From a financial standpoint, our state would receive 100 percent federal funding for our current Basic Health and Disability Lifeline populations. This shift in cost to the federal government is expected to save the state enough to offset the cost of the expansion — a bargain for our state.

Medicaid expansion will provide health coverage for 328,000 Washingtonians and give them access to cost-effective primary care rather than relying on emergency rooms for basic needs. It will cover senior adults and working families who have been falling through the cracks.

That means more people will receive primary care — insulin for diabetics, inhalers for asthma, whooping cough vaccinations, cancer screenings and mental health services — which ultimately saves all of us dollars and lives.

— Susan Foster-Zdon, nurse practitioner, HealthPoint, Redmond

McKenna doesn’t get it

“McKenna promotes incentives to save money on health care” [NWFriday, Sept. 14] speaks loudly to the fact that Rob McKenna is not who he says he is.

The stance he takes toward health care in Washington is not concrete. To start off, McKenna sued to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Then after the Supreme Court ruled the act constitutional, McKenna proclaimed that he was for it before coming out as against it. His attitude now is that he wants the federal government to be flexible on the individual mandate.

The Affordable Care Act is really a way to reduce the costs of health care, and has made a difference in Washington — for example, making prescription drugs more affordable to seniors, as well as allowing health-care options for young adults.

Rob Mckenna’s plan to reduce health-care costs just shows that he does not get it.

— Trudy Soriano, Walla Walla

Living in the past

Rob McKenna continues to live in the past. His attempts to continue sparring with the federal government over health care are not only misguided, they are, in fact, a disservice to the citizens he claims to serve.

The Affordable Care Act has already aided millions of Americans. It keeps prescription-drug costs down for seniors and it has provided young people with a lifeline, allowing them to remain on their parents’ health plan in these tough economic times. McKenna would weaken these much-needed reforms and his “plan” to increase insurance premiums and co-pays would make health care more expensive for the average Washingtonian, not less.

Additionally, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and any attempt to weaken such beneficial reform after it has been upheld by our ultimate legal authority is a waste of time and energy that would be much better spent finding ways to fund primary, as well as higher, education in our state.

— Sam Hicks, Enumclaw

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