Advocate extraordinaire, Sue Etters, a graduate of our “Lift Up Your Voice!” Advocacy training, wrote the following letter-to-the-editor that ran in the Post-Gazette. Here is the letter which was printed on Wednesday, 24 August 2011:
For common good
We live in a time when we are overburdened and concerned about cost. Nothing is more costly than our broken health care system. If we are truly serious about saving money, then a good first step is to develop a health care delivery system that is patient-centered and patient-driven, not profit-driven. This system relies on informed and involved consumers engaged in discussion of treatment options and care. Patients are proactive and aid in the reduction of hospital-acquired infections and preventable medical errors.
Recent articles have reported on formation of the government super-committee, which will work to reduce costs and find savings. With Sen. Pat Toomey selected to the committee, Pennsylvanians have an added incentive to closely follow this work. Committee members must strive to compromise, be fair in cuts and seek new sources of revenue.
In terms of cost savings, reform of the health care delivery system to become more patient-centered is a good place to start. A wise second step is to avoid cuts to Medicaid. Pennsylvania has the second oldest population in the country, with one in every seven residents over the age of 65. Older adults and people with disabilities rely on Medicaid for their long-term living needs. Aging baby boomers want to age in place in the communities that we’ve built and continue to build.
I ask Sen. Toomey and the committee to consider the needs of our shared common good and have the courage to seek a balanced approach.