The Spokane area has suffered under COVID-19’s health and economic crises. As a master’s in public health student who will soon begin medical school, I see the struggles of people in our community to keep healthy.
I have seen patients and friends decline to fill life-saving prescriptions like insulin and EpiPens because they were unaffordable without insurance. And I’ve mentored a student whose father couldn’t afford personal hygiene products for her.
It shouldn’t have to be this way. Access to cash makes a huge difference in people’s lives. State lawmakers can take action to get cash relief to Washingtonians by passing House Bill 1297, the Working Families Tax Credit.
This tax credit would provide an annual cash stimulus of $500-$950 (phasing down as incomes increase) to one in six households, reaching those with the lowest incomes. It would support people to better care for themselves and their loved ones. It would also have an outsized impact on Black, Indigenous, and people of color and include immigrants who face greater barriers to accessing healthcare.
Knowing where your next meal will come from and being able to pay rent make a huge difference in people’s health, which is why this credit, in concert with other investments, is crucial right now.
By funding the Working Families Tax Credit, state lawmakers can make an investment in the wellness of Washingtonians, including people struggling to make ends meet here in Spokane.