The initial proposal put forward to close our state’s $6 billion shortfall relies on an all-cuts approach. Given our state’s deteriorating revenue situation, I have concerns about our ability to close this gap using cuts and only cuts.
So do the people out in our community who would be impacted by these cuts. Every day, I hear stories from people who need more shelter from the current economic hurricane, not less. But less is what they stand to receive under an all-cuts option.
I heard today from our community health clinics, who told me that health care for 14,000 people in Spokane would disappear if we move forward with this kind of approach.
It’s staggering to think that so many people in our community would no longer have a viable option to receive needed medical care. It’s also a mistake to think that the accounting savings realized from cutting these funds will translate into actual savings.
After all, it’s not as if these 14,000 people will suddenly no longer get sick or need medical attention. Many will simply wait until their situation becomes an emergency to get the care they need from hospitals – maximizing the toll taken on their health and the costs to our overall system.
While 14,000 is a lot of people – and is just the tip of the iceberg – sometimes one story can say much more than big numbers. The people at the grassroots organization Fuse have collected some powerful stories from people in our communities who will bear the burden of an all-cuts budget.
Click here to see Paula Hall of Spokane and others tell their stories.
As the Legislature weighs all options for closing the budget shortfall, it is essential for us to keep these stories in mind.