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State Senator Kevin Ranker,

Thank you for your work on this important issue and for introducing this bill.

Could you please explain why you're using public funding as the determining factor for health care providers to provide all the services one should reasonably expect of them, rather than as a simple requirement for performing as a health care provider in Washington State?

Also, I am not a lawyer and did not see the language allowing for the referral for all legal public health services, so can you please explain what ensures this is a functional referral and doesn't simply leave some patients without true access.

Lastly, why is there no date by which all medical providers must meet these requirements even if they do not otherwise modify their care capacity?
Posted by Only Somewhat Wonky on February 20, 2013 at 11:59 AM · Report this
women who become pregnant have already made their choice.

now it is all about weaseling out of the choice they have already made.
Posted by words have meaning. asshole. on February 20, 2013 at 12:06 PM · Report this
Ranker represents the 40th District, not the 44th, you morons.
Posted by hjkl on February 20, 2013 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Yes! If you take public funding, you should not have the right to deny services or treatment to anyone based on religious beliefs. If you want to be discriminatory, then turn down the public money and prepare for lots of publicity when someone dies because you refused a life-saving treatment, like the hospital in Ireland found out.
Posted by StuckInUtah on February 20, 2013 at 1:16 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 5
Awesome. Mythology should not be a basis for allowing medical malpractice on the public dime.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on February 20, 2013 at 1:46 PM · Report this
Basic separation of church and state. Nobody has the right to force their own beliefs onto anybody else. This absolutely needs to include healthcare. If you are running a public hospital or healthcare facility, and you are taking public money, you MUST provide all legal care, without regards for your own personal beliefs. If a Catholic entity is not willing to do this, then they should not be buying up all the hospitals.
Posted by SeattleKim on February 20, 2013 at 2:45 PM · Report this
@6 I am sure they know what they're doing. The Catholic Church plays a long game. The hospital business is great for them -- make money, enforce their theology, be perceived as caring for the sick.

Rep. Ranker, if you're reading this: The "provide for or refer" isn't good enough. When Savita Halappanavar was dying in an Irish hospital for want of an abortion, being "referred to" a hospital in England would not have saved her. She needed *timely* medical care. Your bill should require hospitals to just provide the care, period. If it is absolutely positively certain that someone will not be harmed by being helicoptered (at the hospital's expense) to a secular hospital, then that could be an alternative. In short, your bill is not sufficient for medical emergencies.
Posted by wxPDX on February 20, 2013 at 3:02 PM · Report this
Knat 8
The sooner society does away with this sense that religion itself is sacrosanct, the better. The benefits to society (in the USA specifically and in the world as a whole) will be immediate and, in time, immense.
Posted by Knat on February 20, 2013 at 3:09 PM · Report this
Healthcare is Mega-Big-Business. When Religious Organizations operate businesses (hotels, theme-parks, media-outlets, hospitals, social-services, etc.); they are operating businesses, not practicing religion. And especially when they become monopolies, buying-up and destroying competition; they must maintain equal access (services) to the full community in which they operate. This is simply monopoly capitalism, hiding under the robes of religion.

In Whatcom County, PeaceHealth has prohibited specific legal treatments at Bellingham's only Hospital, including denying access to any doctor who provides these legal procedures -- and they are now buying up facilities in Skagit County. This is a very dangerous trend, that must be regulated.
Posted by ToBeOrNotToBe on February 20, 2013 at 5:55 PM · Report this
@2: I chose to use birth control. I got pregnant. I choose to abort. Notice how the only life involved is my own? I'd like to keep it that way.
Posted by treehugger on February 20, 2013 at 7:37 PM · Report this
#2 - many pregnancies are not by choice. Carrying a fetus to full term is a legal choice. Not carrying a fetus to full term is also a LEGAL choice. Public medical facilities should be required to follow the rule of law, no exceptions. Private medical facilities should have the option to offer or deny services as they see fit. Any facility which receives public funding is by definition a public institution, ergo, must abide by the law, which in these cases, are decided by a woman and her doctor.

This is truly not debatable.
Posted by sjislander on February 21, 2013 at 9:55 AM · Report this
@4,5,6,11 Why is the bar to their "expression of religious freedom" accepting public money?

If you are providing a field of care, should you not have to provide the full set of legal and appropriate services? Why wouldn't this be a simple requirement for participating in those associated fields of medicine?
Posted by Only Somewhat Wonky on February 21, 2013 at 10:46 AM · Report this
I understand how, as an elected official, you have to do a certain amount of ass kissing to the church but let's be honest. To say "This is a tremendous act of service." is utter bullshit. This is an act of a church entering into an extremely profitable private sector enterprise.

That is exactly why we can't let them dictate their religion on others through the health care system. They are not performing an act of service as a faith based organization. They are operating an extremely profitable business and we are paying them for it.
Posted by Root on February 21, 2013 at 11:22 AM · Report this

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