Last week, I accompanied 18 other Spokane residents to Olympia and met with our representatives to address our concerns regarding state budget cuts. We suggested eliminating tax loopholes and tax breaks for special interests. This would increase revenue and decrease cuts to services needed by their most vulnerable constituents.
To a newly elected representative, I expressed concerns about cuts in health care. He responded, “There are free health clinics in Spokane.” Indeed, and they are doing the best they can with less resources and more demand!
Upon returning home, The Spokesman-Review reported a proposal before the Legislature to cut $300,000 that provides malpractice insurance for doctors and other medical professionals who volunteer services valued at $8 million at these ‘free’ clinics. This is one example of short-sighted and out-of-touch reasoning.
Recently, T. R. Reid, author of “The Healing of America” and sponsored by Sacred Heart Medical Center and Eastern Washington University, spoke at our Convention Center before a standing-room-only crowd. He presented four models from other countries that provide universal health care at far less per-capita cost than is spent in the U.S. According to Mr. Reid, with moral commitment and political will, we could accomplish the same.
Kay Stevenson, R.N.