Letters to the Editor

LETTER | Family planning is the best investment

As leadership in the House and Senate nail down budget details, they must not lose sight of the fact that family planning funding is one of the best investments our state makes.

Solid data indicates we save $4 for every dollar we spend on family planning. These savings do not take into consideration the avoided long-term costs that children born in the effected income bracket may incur in state-supported health care, child-care and education.

Efforts in the Senate to achieve a bipartisan budget, by cutting $2.25 million from Department of Health family planning, should not outweigh this important equation.

Currently, the state pays for about half of the pregnancies in the state through Medicaid, and maternity and pregnancy costs are increasingly expensive. For $1 million, more than 4,000 patients can get family planning services, but it only takes 115 pregnancies to wipe out $1 million dollars of spending on Medicaid-paid births.

The proposed Senate cut could result in more than $9 million in new costs to our state, starting immediately. Legislators should not let politics get in the way of good sense. They should avoid digging a deeper budgetary hole for our state by accepting the House’s budget for family planning.

Marilyn Knight, Kirkland

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