Both Friday Harbor and Lopez Island have public hospital districts. They have realized that the only way to financially support rural medical care is through a tax. Here on Orcas, many forward-thinking people have organized a plan for a public hospital district as well. For too long our medical practices have been dependent on philanthropic gifts or a selfless doctor; this is not a sustainable model. It is clear that the only way we can continue to afford to have health care on Orcas is through a taxing district.
Please don’t confuse the establishing of this district with UW. Since UW took over the Orcas Medical Center, there have been a number of patients dissatisfied with one thing or another. While we hope these problems will be corrected, they have nothing to do with the hospital district. The hospital district is our vehicle for affording medical care, and it does not require us to stick with any particular providers.
As chair of the San Juan County Democrats, I took the proposed Orcas hospital district to a recent meeting, and we heartily endorsed it. Democrats believe in taking care of people, and we realize that one has to spend money to get a service in return. While no one enjoys paying taxes, Oliver Wendell Holmes once stated, “Taxes are the price we pay for living in a civilized society.”
Please vote for the hospital district.