Summit Daily letters to the editor: Vote your support for affordable healthcare
June 23, 2016
Vote your support for affordable healthcare
Our November ballot will seek approval of tax-based funding for Summit schools and for affordable housing. Those are significant community programs addressing important community needs.
But they are not the only community needs that should be widely supported. Health care, especially care provided at our safety net Community Care Clinic, is in dire need of additional support and deserves a broad funding base.
Summit Daily's June 13, article about the plight of the Community Care Clinic emphasized the very high, and growing, percentage of uninsured patients whose cost of care far exceeds their financial contributions. In addition, those who are insured with high deductibles often cannot afford to pay those deductibles, leaving the clinic with a second source of serious financial shortfall. This operating loss is made up for with grants and donations, for which we are most grateful.
As the number of uninsured grows, however, the clinic's ability to raise necessary philanthropic funds reaches a finite limit, and the financial predicament becomes worse — not due to bad management but because of factors inherent in our health-care system. With the prospect of double-digit increase in insurance premiums coming soon, it is likely that some currently insured residents will drop their insurance and thereby aggravate our problem. For some reason, we in Summit County acknowledge the problem but consider it to be the clinic's problem to solve, not a community concern deserving of a community response at the same level as housing and education.
Housing and education are vital to the integrity and thriving of Summit County. I suggest that health care for our Summit County citizens is equally important to our community's well being. We should consider a model of public financing for the Care Clinic if we wish to continue our safety net access for medical care.
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