Letters to the Editor — Nov. 7, 2018

Reimbursements cuts run deep for OMC, locals

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will slash by 60 percent, or $3.4 million, over two years, reimbursements to the Olympic Medical Center to cover the cost of outpatient visits to OMC’s clinics in Sequim and Port Angeles.

The ruling reduces payments to $47 from $118 per patient visit to OMC’s outpatient facilities.

Will these desperately needed clinics survive these cuts?

The last time I visited the “no appointment needed” clinic in Sequim, I had an excruciating tooth ache. It was the weekend and I could find no dentist to help me. The clinic in Sequim was filled with mothers with children in their arms seeking treatment for their youngsters. The doctor on duty treated me and prescribed a painkiller and an antibiotic. The pain disappeared.

The current Republican attack on health care is a thousand times more painful than that toothache. Republicans have failed repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Now they have their knives out against Medicare and Medicaid for low income people.

Republicans spout lies that they support insurance guarantees for people with pre-existing conditions. Obamacare is the first legislation that guaranteed that protection. They toiled to take it away from us.

Eric Lewis, CEO of OMC, thanked the 1,780 Clallam County residents who wrote letters pleading against the reduction in Medicare reimbursements. We need to speak with one voice and demand that Congress reverse these cuts and fully fund our rural clinics.

Tim Wheeler

Sequim

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