Islanders hold forum on national health care issue

By Kate Hunter

President Obama has proposed a Dec. 23 deadline for Congress to send him legislation reforming our nation’s health care.

Are you concerned about loss of your personal health care choices? Or cost of coverage for your family or your business? Confused about what is being discussed by our lawmakers? Concerned about cuts to Medicare?

The House has passed its health care reform bill. The Senate is currently debating its own version. There will be the challenge of a conference committee to reconcile the two bills. Key issues include women’s reproductive rights, new powers for the insurance industry and cost containment. The outcome of these negotiations will affect every person on Vashon Island.

Experts with differing points of view on America’s health care reform will speak on Dec. 10 at a free Island forum sponsored by Vashon’s Sunrise Ridge Health Services board and cosponsored by a wide variety of Island groups. Interested Islanders are invited to hear some active, opposing voices in this important debate, facilitated by board president MaryJo Svendsen.

Robby Stern, attorney and chair of the Healthy Washington Coalition, will speak on the importance of supporting the proposed Congressional legislation.

Dr. David McLanahan, Washington state coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, supports a national single payer system of health care that would cover everyone as the only effective reform.

Paul Guppy of the Washington Policy Center favors reconnecting people with their health care dollar, through Health Savings Accounts.

— Kate Hunter is a member of the Sunrise Ridge Health Services board.

A forum on the national health care debate will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Vashon Youth & Family Services Playspace, located at the intersection of Vashon Highway and Gorsuch Road.

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