The Seattle Times’ editorial urging the Legislature to address behavioral health integration this session is spot on [“Integrate mental health with primary care,” Opinion, Feb. 19]. Every day in our community health center and in clinics across the state, we see patients whose physical health is threatened by substance use or mental-health issues. When…More
Category: Health care
Today’s opinion piece by guest columnist Eleanor Owen [“Psychiatric boarding of mentally ill needs to end,” Opinion, Jan. 21] and Brian M. Rosenthal’s story on how hospitals are responding to the threatened loss of funding if boarding continues [“Kirkland hospital to change procedures for ‘boarding’ mentally ill,” Local News, Jan. 21]…More
The recent Washington Post article regarding the apparent fraudulent Medicare claims of a few hospices was very misleading in extrapolating the actions of a few and attributing them to the services of thousands of hospices across the country [“‘Hospice survivors’ a costly trend for Medicare,” Nation & World, Dec. 28]. None of those issues…More
The news this week was bleak. Washington state received a D+ for the level of state support for emergency patients, ranking 35th in the nation according to the American College of Emergency Physicians [“Emergency doctors’ report faults Washington state,” Local News, Jan. 16]. Yet many policymakers remain unaware of the reality we live: a daily…More
When it makes sense to go against a health-care provider
In response to David Baker, there is a time to die and there is a time to disagree with health-care providers [“When is it worth saving a life?” Opinion, Jan. 9].
In her early 90s, my mom had blocked arteries in her leg and faced potential amputation. After two failed surgical repairs, our advocacy led to a third surgery lasting 8 hours and later days in the intensive care unit where she nearly died. But she lived to be 96 years old and kept her leg. What were those four to six years worth?More
Hospital mergers shrinking services
Thank you for your editorial on hospital mergers [“State sheds more light on hospital mergers,” Opinion, Dec. 30].
Please remove from your writing vocabulary the phrase “physician assisted suicide”.
It is a term no longer used in polite gatherings, as it is hurtful and derogatory to families with dying patients who are suffering.
People who choose to use the Washington state Death With Dignity Act prefer to speak about “aid in dying”, “hastening death” or simply “Death with Dignity.”
Also, it is important to note that your editorial did not give the full import of Catholic hospital takeovers. The Catholic moral teaching severely restricts doctors from giving full medical information to their patients, and most Catholic providers prohibit their employees from fully discussing all options available to their patients.
Government is not capable of running our nation’s health-care system
The system giving access to the insurance products is flawed so severely that those who need it have to pick up the phone and call [“People stymied by error codes on state health exchange may get more time to enroll,” Online, Dec. 15].
Now the government is asking insurance companies to guarantee coverage to those who tried to sign up but were unable to complete it.
It is embarrassing that in this technically advanced world, with computers, software and Internet that this is happening.
This is unfair to the providers and those trying to purchase it. It is a perfect example of why the government is not capable of running our nation’s health-care system. It is welcome to regulate it, but they obviously should not be this much involved.
Provides treatment for those with pre-existing conditions
Andrew Reding might be among the small minority who have to pay higher health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act [“I can’t keep my health plan,” Opinion, Dec. 6].
However, he fails to recognize he is actually getting more. Not only can he no longer be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, it cannot be rescinded if he utilizes it. Should he suffer from a catastrophic illness or injury, there is no longer a limit on what his insurance will pay. Of bankruptcies filed in 2007, over 60 percent were due to medical expenses — 75 percent of those individuals had health insurance.
This doesn’t happen in other developed nations. They provide universal health care at a lower per-capita cost than the U.S. system, and have better outcomes. They don’t utilize for-profit insurance companies, and because all are covered, treatment is sought at earlier stages.
It works and people like it
Initially Republicans killed the Affordable Care Act’s public option that might have led to a national single-payer health-care system. Throughout they’ve relentlessly pursued their self-fulfilling prophecy that all of the ACA shall fail.
Perhaps we should reconsider the single-payer system, even though the ACA still contains very significant improvements over the present system, at somewhat lower costs.
Canadian single-payer universal health-care costs total only 60 percent of the present U.S. system, with better results (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc.). Despite misleading ads by U.S. insurance companies, the Canadian system is also very popular. The evidence? When May 2011 elections gave conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper a conservative parliamentary majority, guaranteeing passage of any conservative legislation, he quickly assured Canadians of no change in their single-payer system.
Also, address the chargemaster pricing problem
Thank you for publishing Andrew Reding’s guest column on health insurance ["State’s health-insurance exchange site remains down," Online, Dec. 5]. Like Reding’s Blue Shield experience, my Lifewise policy is canceled as of the end of the year. I will be transferred to a new plan with premiums that increase almost 20 percent and a deductible that increases 81 percent to $6,350.