The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Letters to the Editor

November 9, 2011

Dangerous approach to the problem

TARBORO — I have appreciated your coverage of issues that affect our local community, our State and the Country that have appeared in The Daily Southerner over the years. Please continue to educate your readers about the on-going budget debate on Capitol Hill. The deficit reduction Super Committee is behind closed doors now, hoping to come to common ground regarding the state of our economy and the looming budget deficit. I am fearful that the debate may result not in which programs to cut ... but how much. This would be a dangerous approach to the problem, especially for programs like the community health centers that serve low-income families across the Country. Many working families are turning to health centers for primary healthcare services during this economic downturn. They have lost their health insurance, along with their jobs. Chances are good that you know a neighbor, friend, or family member who is one of the 20 million people seeking help at a health center today. We are all smart enough to understand the need for fiscal restraint. However, when we cut programs like community health centers, all of us pay a price.

Denying people access to basic health care services just elevates costs on the other end of the spectrum, as individuals seek care through our hospital emergency room and experience admissions to the hospital that could have been prevented with regular visits to a medical provider. Others become too sick to work and children miss days of school unnecessarily. As a taxpayer and the Executive Director of Carolina Family Health Centers, I want my representatives to know that we cannot continue to feed the cycle of poverty and health disparities. Please join me in keeping a watchful eye on deficit reduction recommendations and lend your voice to protecting basic health services in our community.

Sincerely,

Dee Johnson

Executive Director

Carolina Family Health Centers. Inc.

dba Freedom Hill Community Health Center

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