LETTER: Time to get active in health care access

Posted 2/21/17

Thanks for your good coverage of efforts to have our county and city declared as sanctuaries.

Mike Glenn laid out nicely in The Leader’s Jan. 28 edition that Jefferson Healthcare will care for …

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LETTER: Time to get active in health care access

Posted

Thanks for your good coverage of efforts to have our county and city declared as sanctuaries.

Mike Glenn laid out nicely in The Leader’s Jan. 28 edition that Jefferson Healthcare will care for people “regardless of the documents they hold or do not hold.”

Meanwhile, there are efforts gaining momentum to get affordable, timely, cost-effective, medical, behavioral, dental, vision, hearing and preventive services for all. Healthcare is a fundamental human right (UN, 1948).

Our healthcare system is twice as expensive as that in other developed countries and yet our health outcomes are worse. About 30 percent of the cost goes to wasteful overhead, and to private for-profit drug and insurance companies. Almost 60 percent of Americans now believe the government needs to assure healthcare coverage (Pew Research Center).

As the Affordable Care Act continues to be dismantled, more people realize we need to expand both services and age eligibility for Medicare. PSARA (Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action) gave a room-filled presentation three weeks ago, formed a local chapter and presented a petition to hospital commissioners Feb. 15.

Jefferson Healthcare gets about 75 percent of its revenue from Medicare/Medicaid services. We will consider the resolution at 3:30 p.m., March 1. Come testify.

As a hospital commissioner, I cannot speak for the whole board, but I urge all of us to get involved. A Healthcare for All Washington speaker will present to Jefferson County Democrats at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 28 at the Chimacum High School auditorium.

Citizens for Healthcare Access meets at 8 a.m. every fourth Tuesday at Jefferson County Public Health Department to explore actions.

House Bill 1026 is sponsored by our representatives Steve Tharinger and Mike Chapman, and Senate Bill 5701 is in the works.

Let’s all work for universal healthcare soon.

KEES KOLFF

Port Townsend

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