In an attempt to balance Washington State’s budget, the legislature is pondering the elimination of our state’s Basic Health Plan, which would cause 35,000 low-income Washingtonians to lose their health insurance. Gee, what’s next? Will uninsured visitors to the ER be required to bring their own gauze and bandages? Pay for treatment with (their) blood, plasma, and perhaps an organ or two? Or, maybe, people admitted to the hospital will be required to supply their own meals, plates, bedding, toilet paper, etc. during their stay. Maybe, depending on how mobile, coherent, and contagious they are, patients will be required to “work off” their hospital bills as they convalesce … e.g. make collection calls, do janitorial work, cashier at the gift shop, and stock shelves.
It is shameful to balance the budget by denying essential services to people already suffering from the recession (and probably the last round of budget cuts). It is up to our legislators to put an end to cruel and Dickensian cuts to our state’s budget. And it is up to us, their constituents, to make them do it. Call your legislators. (The legislative hotline number is 1.800.562.6000.) And get your friends and neighbors to call too.