LETTER: Let’s help protect one of our most valuable commodities, local health care

Regardless of how you feel about the health care insurance controversy, I think we can agree we need to protect such valuable area resources as our outstanding hospital, clinics and health care providers.

Our hospitals, clinics and health care professionals need their patients to have health insurance.

Even if all care could be donated, costs would remain.

We taxpayers would need to pay most of these costs, with greater expenses due to inefficiencies and with fewer resources contributing to our community’s economy.

People without health insurance are more likely to need expensive interventions such as emergency room care and hospitalizations.

Inadequate medical care for children can affect abilities to learn — increasingly a lifelong need — so they can support themselves and families and contribute to our communities and the world beyond.

Untreated substance abuse and mental health issues can lead to terrible tragedies for affected individuals, families and communities.

My husband, a retired pediatrician who served the North Olympic Peninsula for three decades, recently told me about an article describing essentials small communities must have if they are to survive.

One of the top three: a hospital.

We need to speak up now as individuals, organizations and governmental entities to protect our hospitals and other health care resources.

Information about some solutions and ways of getting involved is available from our legislative representatives in Olympia, Congressman Derek Kilmer, local political organizations and study-action groups meeting at the Port Angeles Senior & Community Center and other locations.

Robbie Mantooth,

Port Angeles