Speaking Out For Medicaid Expansion in Washington State

Guest blog post by Teal Whitaker, Client Services Representative, HealthPoint, Renton, WA

“Breaking down barriers and providing access to all.”

At HealthPoint, a non-profit Community Health Center with clinics throughout King County, Washington, we don’t only believe in doing so, we accept it as our mission. It is an integral part of what we do. That is why we speak out about Medicaid Expansion. We want to be advocates in our legislature and our local communities.

Recently in Letters to the Editor a provider and a board member of HealthPoint urged our legislature to consider the benefits of the program and the costly result of not passing it in our state. With first-hand knowledge of what medical coverage would mean for the uninsured, they cited the many reasons why the program is beneficial. Mainly, there will be more access to more patients. The benefits will also include state savings (about $210 million) and positive job creation (about 10,000 jobs). Both letters are linked below.

Kimberly McDermott, MD, HealthPoint Provider

http://www.bellevuereporter.com/opinion/192531201.html

Chad Horner, Chair of HealthPoint Board of Directors

http://www.kentreporter.com/opinion/193707521.html

Why speak out?

As a Client Services Representative at HealthPoint, I see many patients in need of resources to manage their medical bills and the price of crucial diagnostics and exams. For an uninsured adult, this can mean thousands of dollars out of their pockets. There is a lack of resources and the level of need is rising. Our whole organization feels the effect of this everyday.

By offering medical coverage to an estimated 79,000 people in King County alone, Medicaid Expansion means more of our patients will be in our clinics instead of our emergency rooms. On a daily basis, we meet with patients who are not in control of their own health. They are not receiving the care they need because they cannot afford to do so. Some patients have to choose whether to pay for their medications or put food on the table. That is why we speak out about Medicaid Expansion. We want to be a voice for our patients, no matter what language they speak.

It is time to break down the barriers and give more people access to the health care they deserve. We want our state to make the right choice.

–Teal Whitaker

 

Leave a Reply