Letter: No cost leads to abuse



The Oct. 21 story “DSHS town hall draws a crowd” said recipients are concerned about shortages. Abuse of medical care is one reason. I substituted for foster parents out of town for a few days. When I took the children for a supervised visit with mom, she insisted her youngest had strep throat and needed a throat culture. Since I knew the daughter only had a runny nose, I was very tempted to say, “There is no cure for the common cold,” but figured the social workers would set her straight. Instead, fear of lawsuits made DSHS insist the foster parent make an appointment and I take the child. The pediatrician said not a doctor in Vancouver would order a throat culture given the symptoms but we taxpayers paid for the visit.

As a young mother with five children I carefully considered if my own children really needed to see a doctor. Why? It was going to cost me.

There needs to be some cost even for low-income parents or the system will continue to be abused. No cost equals abuse. In this case, we taxpayers paid the doctor and foster mom and I paid the time. The mother paid nothing.

Sharon Long