Health care debate is born of frustration

When U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee throws out an invite, folks show up. In droves.

On Aug. 31 an estimated crowd of 1,000 packed the North Kitsap High gym to the rafters to hear what the Bainbridge Island Democrat had to say about health care reform. Amongst the swarm of registered voters were two sides: Those who believe everyone has a right to affordable health care, and those who believe everyone has a right to affordable health care but question who will foot the bill.

Both sides of the debate have good reason to be heard. Though everyone needs health care, boy, is it expensive.

The issue at stake, however, goes deeper than whether the child of a single parent who’s having difficulty keeping food on the table should have the same access to decent health care as the child of an affluent parent.

The debate over health care is born of people on both ends of the political spectrum who feel they’ve been ignored, neglected and generally brushed aside. Health care is just a good jumping-off point for the conversation.

This debate gives them an opportunity to be heard. Retirees who fear their children and grandchildren won’t have the same coverage they’ve received through their previous employer; parents who work part time and can’t afford health insurance for their children; families who have dependents with health issues that are repeatedly denied coverage.

We’re all frustrated with the current system, as the insured and uninsured both pay too much for a trip to the doctor.

At the center of the debate, at least for the north end, is Inslee. No matter how he votes on this issue, some of his constituents are still going to feel brushed aside.

But at least he was willing to listen.

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