Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
State budget must move forward without further foot-dragging
Senate budget is not more responsible
The Times’ claim that the state Senate budget is “more responsible” than the House version is incorrect. [“No more foot-dragging on the state budget,” Opinion, March 18.]
By slashing funds for health care needed by tens of thousands, the Senate budget would send more people to emergency rooms for care, which ultimately drives up costs for everyone. The House budget avoids this approach while aligning with the federal Affordable Care Act’s path toward quality, affordable health care for all.
Two years ago this week, President Obama signed this historic act into law, improving access to health care for all Americans by reforming a part of our economy that is broken. The law ends insurance discrimination against women and people with pre-existing conditions and requires insurers to spend more of our premiums on health care, less on marketing and excessive profits.
It covers many preventive services with no co-pays. In 2014, it will make insurance affordable for all, and Washington state will have a terrific opportunity to expand our successful Basic Health program.
As the special session winds up this week in Olympia, our governor and state lawmakers should do everything they can to preserve essential health programs until the federal law takes full effect.
— Janet Varon, executive director of Northwest Law Health Advocates, Seattle