Letter: Island needs, deserves quality local health care

Editor,

I will be voting yes for the hospital district levy increase and I strongly encourage others to do so, too. Yes, it’s a tax increase, but if approving it means we have a fully staffed, fully equipped, fully functioning modern hospital on Whidbey, I am 100% in favor of it.

I think it’s important for us to understand the financial reality facing WhidbeyHealth. Like many other rural hospitals across the country, a majority of the population served by WhidbeyHealth is insured either through Medicare or Medicaid, both of which reimburse hospitals substantially less than commercial insurance companies and often below actual costs. Of course, the COVID crisis has only worsened the cash flow problem for the hospital as “elective” procedures are postponed.

Even while the pandemic persists, Whidbey Island’s population has grown — which means now, more than ever, our community needs and deserves high-quality local health care.

Please vote yes for Island Public Hospital District Proposition 1.

Tom Fox

Langley

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