Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: Medicaid


HEALTH: Medicaid plan should be in the exchange

We are very disappointed that none of the Medicaid health plans were approved by the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner to participate in the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.

The OIC outcome has limited our clients’ ability to maintain continuity of care. Residents whose income is variable will frequently transition back and forth between Medicaid coverage and the exchange. They want to be able to keep their doctors and their health plans. Excluding Medicaid companies means this will not be possible.

Mercy Housing Northwest houses more than 600 people per day in our affordable housing in Tacoma. We strive to

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BUDGET: Restoring dental coverage is win-win

Re: “Special session could drag on to the bitter end” (TNT, 5-12).

The state legislature has many tough decisions to make during its special session now underway. But some decisions should be easy from both a financial and a human impact perspective.

Fully restoring dental coverage for adults on Medicaid is one of those win-win decisions. When dental coverage was eliminated two years ago for adults on Medicaid, I worried about the consequences. As a dentist at Milgard Family Dental Clinic in Tacoma, I see this lack of coverage causing people to neglect preventive care, driving people to hospital

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MEDICAID: Co-payments aren’t a good answer

Re: “School funding without taxes sacrifices the poor” (editorial, 4-25).

In an otherwise excellent editorial about the no-new-taxes Senate’s failure to fund programs for our most vulnerable, The News Tribune embraces “co-payments for Medicaid.”

Medicaid expansion will be funded 100 percent by the federal government, which means co-pays would, at best, return federal tax dollars. Then they would create Medicaid bad debt for providers unable to collect payments from the medically indigent. Having represented long-term care providers I can attest there is no worse debt than Medicaid bad debt.

Under federal law, hospitals cannot refuse care to anyone presenting

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BUDGET: Medicaid money can help low-income

For more than 30 years, my wife and I and a loyal team of workers have farmed 20-plus acres along the Puyallup River. Our fields, with the first blooms of spring peeking into view, seem a long way from the marble corridors of Olympia. Yet we keep a close eye on state lawmakers as they grapple with the $1.2 billion budget shortfall.

We urge them to accept the federal dollars, now on the table, that will save $225 million from the state budget in the next biennium alone. This opportunity, created by the Affordable Care Act, will expand Medicaid to

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HEALTH: Free care is not the answer

Re: “Where’s care and compassion?” (letter, 3-20).

The writer, a physician, sees the need for “universal free medical care.” Universal health insurance is not the answer to every problem. And universal free medical care is a really bad idea. Who’s going to pay for it? How?

The doctor describes AB, a 56-year-old custodian with chronic back pain. He is caught between a rock and a hard place. If he continues lifting 100-pound tables, he’ll continue having back pain. But if he quits his job, he’ll lose his health insurance.

The solution is not to give AB free treatments, which

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HEALTH CARE: Cuts threaten health interventions

I am a registered nurse working in Pierce County and also a student at the University of Washington Tacoma. I recently learned about the tremendous Medicaid cuts facing the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) and about the proposed impacts these cuts will have on TPCHD services to low-income families and children.

I am writing to you to convey my perspectives as a nurse and to encourage TPCHD efforts to absorb cuts in a balanced manner that sustains evidence-based programs shown to be cost-effective in supporting the long-term physical, mental and social health of Pierce County.

Changes to Medicaid are expected

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DEFICIT: Krugman oblivious to debt’s dangers

Paul Krugman’s column (TNT, 3-14) about government spending and deficits is ripe with questionable assertions.

Krugman tosses numbers around and goes into great detail about yearly deficits, yet he hardly even mentions the danger posed by the national debt. Without naming names, he coyly attempts to denigrate conservative fiscal hawks by calling them “fearmongers” who want to dismantle Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

To bolster his arguments, he references Kenysian economic theory, yet he fails to acknowledge that without capitalism he would be as poor as those individuals who actually do need government assistance.

I can’t help but wonder

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ECONOMY: Congress must avoid sequestration

I appreciate Congress’ action on Jan. 1 that enabled legislation to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff.” However, I am also disappointed in Congress for “kicking the can down the road” in dealing with the issues of sequestration and the statutory debt limit, especially when these issues are being used in an attempt to dismantle Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security while supporting the tax cuts and loopholes exploited by the richest 2 percent of Americans.

The most serious economic challenge facing the American people is the continuing job crisis. America will not be able to stabilize the national debt over the

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