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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 5, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Washington state health care

Right time to bring disparate interests together

We could put meaningful sanctions on health-care facilities that do not provide translation services [“Report: Health-care disparities shortchange minorities, poor,” Local News, March 4].

And, we could mandate what amount of uncompensated care will be required if a health-care facility is to qualify for the tax benefits of a nonprofit entity. We could mandate nonprofit, health-care facilities outreach to underserved areas of the county.

But, with auto manufacturers burdened with health-care costs, becoming noncompetitive and middle-class folks losing their health insurance, rather than applying band-aid solutions, it is time to address the more than 47 million uninsured and perhaps at least 20 million underinsured.

The uninsured and the underinsured do eventually get care, albeit later and more costly than would be timely health care.

The time is right for these disparate interests to come together in the common cause of adequate access to health care for all.

— Larry Donohue M.D., Seattle

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