[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The B-Town Blog, nor its staff:]

Dear B-Town Blog.

The time is right to have a serious conversation about universal healthcare. Healthcare should not be dependent on employment status – as many have found out in the last year, there are no employment guarantees, and there is 100% certainty that each of us will need health care at some point in our lives.

Senator Bob Hasegawa (WA-11) deserves thanks from every one of us. Last week, he introduced SB-5204 into committee, the first step to making healthcare access universal in Washington. The bill will create a statewide healthcare trust to fund affordable access to healthcare, vision, dental, and even mental health.

We’ve been waiting for a bill like this for decades. When the federal government cannot find the moral and political courage to fix healthcare, our state needs to exercise the sovereignty of the 10th Amendment and do what we need at the state level.

My own experience with healthcare has been from the point of view of someone who has access to insurance. When my husband was hospitalized with a life threatening health crisis, ‘all’ I had to worry about was potentially losing the love of my life. I did not have the additional fear of losing my financial solvency, and as I looked at the growing pile of insurance paperwork, I could not fathom a world in which my ability to find full time employment was the only thing that kept us from being shouldered with the entire bill, an immediate path to bankruptcy. The unfairness of it is staggering.

SB-5204 is the right and moral thing to do. We are getting crushed under an avalanche of constantly rising healthcare costs — over the past twenty years, cost-sharing alone has risen eight times faster than wages. A third of us carry medical debt. Even more put off seeing doctors or filling prescriptions because of cost — and our health suffers.

More than half of Burien is in the 34th District, represented by Representative Eileen Cody. Cody currently serves as chair of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee, which will be the gatekeeper of SB 5204 when it comes to the House. She has expressed skepticism toward the bill and an intention of not allowing it out to the vote. Surely she won’t put the needs of campaign donors ahead of constituents who vote? Eileen Cody needs to hear from as many constituents as possible, that this measure should become law. Will you contact her if she is your rep? https://housedemocrats.wa.gov/cody/contact/ call or email, and tell her you want a vote on making SB 5204 into the law of the land.

Why should we subsidize the healthcare of legislators who look the other way when it comes to our health needs? SB-5204 would end this travesty. We need to ask Representative Eileen Cody (D-34) to pass SB 5204 when it comes to the House. Surely she won’t put the needs of campaign donors ahead of constituents who vote?

As a taxpayer and voter, I ask our legislators and governor to serve Washington residents — and pass SB-5204.

Thank you
Sarah Moore

EDITOR’S NOTE: Do you have something you’d like to share with our highly engaged local Readers? If so, please email your Letter to the Editor to [email protected] and, pending review and verification that you’re a real human being, we may publish it. Letter writers must use their full names and cite sources – as well as provide an address and phone number (NOT for publication but for verification purposes).