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E2SSB 5399: Cris Currie's Letter to the Editor

Published Saturday, March 21,2021, The Spokesman-Review, reprinted with permission of author and publisher.

Padden’s disservice

According to his aide, state Sen. Mike Padden thinks a state-managed health care financing system, as recommended by the Washington State Universal Health Care Work Group, would cause “many serious issues” for patients and providers, including “delays in care, reductions in the quality of care, rationing of resources,” and reduced “choice.”

In fact, it is the current privatized corporate system that is directly responsible for extensive delays in care through a gauntlet of meaningless preauthorizations, denials and endless phone calls and paperwork, sacrificing quality in exchange for obscene profits, rationing care to only those who can afford unnecessarily high and unpredictable prices, and curtailing choice through its punishingly restrictive and ever-changing limited provider networks.

Instead of analyzing the problem and critiquing the Work Group’s thorough report, the senator simply parrots moldy insurance industry propaganda. He appears completely out of touch with the reality of modern health care, despite sitting on the Senate’s health care committee, which recently held a hearing on SB 5399. This is the bill that would establish the commission, as recommended by the Work Group, to actually design the first universal state-based health care system in the country.

By ignoring the extensive nonpartisan research and analysis done by the Work Group, voting No on 5399, and by not even expressing a preference for a different model of universal care, Senator Padden has done a grave disservice to his constituents and the whole state. Every voter in the 4th Legislative District should demand much deeper thinking from him.

Cris M. Currie, retired R.N., Mead