LETTER: Health care bridges the divide

Republicans and Democrats banded together recently to sign funding letters that declared health centers, which would include the one in Port Angeles, as models.

Health centers

In an election season, the headlines may lead us to believe that candidates can’t agree on anything.

Not so fast.

There is an issue both Republicans and Democrats can and do agree on: the importance of community health centers to our U.S. health care system.

House and Senate lawmakers in Congress recently signed their names to funding letters that declared health centers a model of care that offers a “bipartisan solution to the primary care access problems” facing our nation.

The letters were signed by 62 senators and 307 House representatives and included a nearly equal balance of Republicans and Democrats.

Even more remarkable is that during National Health Center Week 2016 (Aug. 7-13), many of these same Republicans and Democrats joined other local, state and national leaders of all political stripes to show their support for a health program that has delivered results for over 50 years: lower health care costs, healthier people, more jobs, reduced hospital visits.

Port Angeles has joined the ranks of the fortunate communities that benefit from the presence of a new community health center at 240 W. Front St. in Port Angeles, the North Olympic Healthcare Network.

In the past year, the network has been able to offer care to nearly 2,200 people who previously had none.

This is cause for celebration as a community.

Now more than ever, it’s important to remember that there are policy solutions that are working and, more important, elected leaders who are putting aside political differences to ensure they continue.

Dr. Michael S. Maxwell,

Port Angeles

Maxwell is CEO of the North Olympic Healthcare Network