March 26: Rep. Larsen holds Town Hall about Trumpcare - Friday Harbor

Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) will hold a “Town Talk” from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 26, 2017 at Brickworks located at 150 Nichols Street in Friday Harbor. He wants to hear directly from his constituents their questions and concerns about Trumpcare, Congressional Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and any other issues important to them.

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CBO Report: 21 million more uninsured by 2020, 24 million by 2026 if Trumpcare enacted

The Congressional Budget Office released its estimates of the cost of the American Health Care Act - also know as Trumpcare or Ryancare on March 13, 2017. An estimated 24 million people who are currently insured under the Affordable Care Act - Obamacare - would be uninsured by 2026. That would bring the total of uninsured citizens to 52 million.

In San Juan County, 13.4 percent of residents are on medicaid and 7.8 percent are uninsured. The county's percentage of population on medicaid is the lowest in the state. Almost half of the county's population 48.9 percent are on private insurance and 29.9 percent are on medicare. The medicare percentage comes in second in the state behind Jefferson County which has 32.2 percent of its population on medicare. 

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Is women's healthcare a priority at SJI Hospital District?

The contentiousness of the 2015 hospital district election on San Juan Island was re-awakened at the February 22, 2017 San Juan County Public Hospital District 1 (PHD)  Commission meeting. Discussing the possibility of entering into a contract with Planned Parenthood to provide services PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center (PIMC) cannot provide due to its status as a Catholic healthcare organization, the gulf between those for one and those against was wide. 

Commissioner Dr. J. Michael Edwards placed the needs of 10th-graders smoking marijuana or tobacco as a higher priority than providing women access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.  Commissioner Mark Schwinge vehemently opposed giving even "a penny" to Planned Parenthood saying, "When we cannot settle on things, I think we need to consider moral aspects. Moral law ultimately has to hold sway."

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Hospital District to discuss potential contract with Planned Parenthood

At their regular meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 San Juan County Public Hospital District Commissioners will consider whether to draft a contract with Planned Parenthood. The PHD gives most of its tax revenue to PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center which provides emergency and regular medical services. PeaceHealth is a catholic healthcare mission and has some restrictions on services as a result. The meeting will be held in the county Legislative Buiding at 55 Second Street in Friday Harbor.

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Navy SAR transports woman in labor from Friday Harbor to mainland

Search and Rescue (SAR) teams from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted three separate Medical Evacuations (MEDEVACs) between Thursday, February 9, and Friday, February 10, 2017. The first was from Friday Harbor Airport to Island Hospital in Anacortes, the second from Jefferson County Hospital to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, and the third from Lopez Island to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett.

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Deadline to enroll for Affordable Care Act insurance is Jan. 31

The final deadline for 2017 coverage under the Affordable Care Act is Tuesday, January 31, 2017. Go to healthcare.gov and see if you qualify. Remember -- 8 out 10 people who enroll through HealthCare.gov are eligible for reduced monthly costs, and most can find plans with monthly premiums reduced to $50 - $100 with their financial help.

Don’t wait. Apply now at healthcare.gov to explore your plan options and get covered today. Act now: Enroll by January 31 for coverage starting March 1, or you may have to wait until 2018 for coverage.

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Flu here but not yet at epidemic level

Get a flu shot, wash your hands, cover your cough and stay home if you are sick. That's the advice from San Juan County  Health and Community Services Department. While flu cases are on the rise in the islands, the county is not experiencing the epidemic levels reported in other parts of Washington state.

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