Letter: Don’t cut health care funding



I’ve been looking into our proposed state budgets recently, and was disappointed to see our legislators have cut critical funding for breast and cervical health programs.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. It’s the second-leading cause of cancer death in women.

The good news is breast cancer can be easily detected and treated. That can be the difference between life and death for insured Washington women who can afford it.

For the thousands of uninsured and underinsured women in our state, though, detection may often be the last thing on their minds — until it’s too late.

The cost of prevention is minuscule compared to the cost of treatment, to say nothing of the impact of cancer on the families and children of unprotected women. This devastating impact is felt for years. Such very sad “penny wise-ness.”

The Affordable Care Act will cover many preventive checkups for women as it moves forward, but some will still fall through the cracks. That’s why our state Senate and House budgets need to maintain breast health care services instead of cutting them entirely as the proposed budgets do now.

Every woman deserves access to comprehensive health care, not just the ones who can afford it.

Karen Hengerer