I urge voters to consider Jamie McLeod-Skinner for U.S. representative. She has extensively crisscrossed our immense district, listening to our concerns and exchanging ideas grounded in good common sense. She speaks plainly about working across the aisle and I think we need a change in that direction.
A prime concern is to maintain access to affordable health care without disqualification by preexisting conditions. Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), small- to medium-sized rural hospitals like Sky Lakes Medical Center bore the brunt of millions of dollars of uncompensated emergency care dispensed to all comers. Nationwide, rural facilities closed under these fiscal burdens.
As a family physician in this system, I knew the hospital did its best to deliver emergency care to patients. But often patients presented with problems not detected in early, more treatable stages. Healthy lifestyles including balanced diet, regular physical activity, avoidance of substance abuse, and timely primary care of known chronic life-threatening conditions make for the best outcomes.
Rep. Greg Walden voted along party lines to "repeal and replace" the ACA. A proffered replacement bill rapidly cobbled together without bipartisan input failed, as have other promised "fixes."
Usually, complex bills from Congress need give-and-take and a bit of bargaining across the aisle. An intense partisan atmosphere in our current House and Senate shows up in consistently low opinion poll numbers. The attitude has been especially divisive since 2010.
That's why I am supporting a healthy change by voting for Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who will give our wonderful congressional district a fresh direction.
R. Rand Hale, MD