Put public hospital district on ballot | Letters

I am writing to encourage everyone in our community who is a registered voter to sign the petition that is being circulated over the next few weeks regarding placing a Public Hospital District for Orcas Island on the April, 2018 ballot. I am signing this petition because it will give all the members of our community an opportunity to engage in an ongoing public discussion between now and April, 2018. That discussion will enable us to learn more about this issue and to decide how we want to ensure that all the members of our community have access to high quality primary and urgent care (including after-hours care) in a financially sustainable and predictable manner now and for generations to come. There will be many opportunities and forums to discuss this issue between now and April 2018. I believe the issue of health care is of great concern to many of the members of our community. Signing this petition will begin a process that will give us all an opportunity to learn about and discuss the issue and ultimately to cast our votes.

Oddly by Washington state law, any district that provides health care services in any form must be called a “Public Hospital District”. The petition being circulated has nothing to do with creating a hospital on Orcas. The measure that will be placed on the ballot in April, 2018 is only intended to ensure the provision of primary and urgent care for everyone.

This is a very complex issue and a great deal more information will be available between now and April, 2018. Right now, it is important that the measure gets on the ballot so that we can have the appropriate public discussions.

Please join me in signing the petition that will be circulating widely throughout the island.

Art Lange

Orcas Island