Time to Take Care of all Citizens


Michael Brunson apparently did not read Dr. Brock’s letter very carefully. She was addressing Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ July 12 reference to MEDICARE, a government sponsored health care program primarily for people above the age 65, not MEDICAID, which is a different health care program for low-income individuals and families.

Additionally, Mr. Brunson stated “The Health Care Act will cost all of us quite a bit in the future.” Maybe, but what he did not reveal is that repeal of the act, according to the non partisan Congressional Budget Office, would cost us roughly an additional $230 billion through 2021.

McMorris Rodgers also voted for the Ryan budget, which would cut taxes for the average millionaire by $265,000 per year while raising taxes on middle class families by about $2,160 per year (because of the required cuts in discretionary programs to make the plan revenue neutral).

Furthermore, Washington State is already successfully using an early Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act to help cover low income childless adults on its Basic Health Plan. Before passage of the Affordable Health Care Act the state footed the entire bill for that portion of the program.

The way to fix Medicaid is not by giving block grants to the states (another feature of the Ryan budget) which would increase costs for low income folks in the future, but to fully fund the program – including fair payments to doctors – by eliminating the unfair tax breaks for the wealthy and rethinking our national priorities. It’s time to take care of all of our citizens.

I will close with a response to Michael Brunson’s “…guess that Sylvia Brock has her own private medical insurance and doesn’t know the inconvenience and uncertainty experienced by those who only have Medicaid for health coverage.” He is wrong on both counts.

Paul D. Voelker

Director, Valley School District #070