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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 11, 2013 at 7:27 AM

How Obamacare will work for immigrants

Advocates compassion

Likos Afkas, seen at home Aug. 27, 2013, in Seatac, is from Micronesia, and came to Washington state about a year ago. Afkas was immediately diagnosed with kidney failure that has led to three-times-a-week dialysis. He also has heart problems and diabetes. Last month Afkas learned that he was cut from SSI and Medicare, leaving him exposed. [Ken Lambert, The Seattle Times.]

Likos Afkas is from Micronesia, and came to Washington state about a year ago. Afkas was immediately diagnosed with kidney failure that has led to three-times-a-week dialysis. He also has heart problems and diabetes. Last month Afkas learned that he was cut from SSI and Medicare, leaving him exposed. [Ken Lambert, The Seattle Times.]

Lornet Turnbull’s article on immigrants and health-care reform highlighted the challenges for many natives of the Micronesian islands residing in Washington. [“How will immigrants fare under Obamacare? It’s complicated,” page one, Sept. 5.]

It was a well-done story, shining a light on how history (atomic-bomb testing) relates to today’s health-care realities.

For the past two years, the Children’s Alliance has advocated with families from the Marshall Islands in order to make sure no child in our state goes without the nutritious food they need. This June, lawmakers partially restored a critical source of nutrition: the state Food Assistance Program.

But when a seriously ill, under- or unemployed person is in need of life’s basics, like health care or nutritious food, we shouldn’t check their papers first.

Parents must still feed their hungry children. That’s why we’ll call on lawmakers to fully restore the state Food Assistance Program in the 2014 legislative session.

Jon Gould, deputy director of the Children’s Alliance, Seattle

Comments | More in Health care, Immigration, Politics | Topics: health care, hunger, immigration

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