Pension Issues: Swedish Spokesperson Apparently Doesn’t Know His Employer is Catholic Providence

Recently, the employees of Providence Health System sued their employer in federal court, saying that it’s using a religious exemption to avoid compliance with federal pension law. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Swedish Medical Center’s spokesperson Clay Holtzman tried to say that the issue doesn’t affect Swedish employees because “Providence and Swedish are read more…

The Catholic Bishops and Your Health Care: Tulsa Public Radio Interviews Monica Harrington

Tulsa Public Radio general manager Rich Fisher recently interviewed CatholicWatch founder Monica Harrington about the intersection of religion and health care, and especially how Catholic bishops are imposing their “moral authority” over taxpayer-financed health care. From the Tulsa Public Radio overview: “From pharmacists who refuse to dispense Plan B drugs (which prevent ovulation) to legislation read more…

Catholic Health Initiatives Facing Financial Heat: Will Employee Pensions Pay the Price?

As the financial health of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) suffers in the wake of its aggressive growth strategy, will its employees pay the ultimate price, giving up pensions they thought were secure? Catholic Health Initiatives, which runs hospitals in 17 states, and claims to treat more than 46 million people, saw its bond rating downgraded read more…

Catholic Bishops Clamp Down on Tubal Ligations; Swedish is Likely Target

In the Seattle area, Swedish Medical Center, which was taken over by Providence a few years ago, currently says it does tubal ligations. However, according to a new article posted in ProPublica, the Catholic bishops are clamping down on tubal ligations in situations where a formerly secular medical facility has come under Catholic control.  Prior read more…

One Year After AG Opinion, No Maternity Services on San Juan Island

One year after Washington State’s Attorney General issued a formal opinion related to hospital taxing districts and their obligation to provide appropriate care to pregnant women, pregnant women around the state are finding some Public Hospital Districts refusing to support maternity care services. Here’s how that happened on San Juan Island. San Juan Island lies read more…

UW Medical Students, Grad Students Question PeaceHealth Partnership

More than a thousand UW medical students and other grad students are questioning how the University of Washington’s deepening relationship with PeaceHealth will affect medical training and clinical services over time. PeaceHealth is a Catholic health care ministry that requires its physicians and other staff to follow the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health read more…

Video: “Religious Doctrine, Medical Best Practice, and You”

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State recently sponsored a panel discussion focused on the growing encroachment of religious doctrine on WA’s health care system.  I was honored to give the opening presentation.  Also on the panel were experts from Planned ParenthoodVotes, the ACLU, and Compassion & Choices plus an ethicist from the read more…

Boeing Employees Face Choice: Catholic or non-Catholic Health Care

Boeing recently announced that its employees will be able to choose from two Partnership Plan Accountable Care Organizations: UW Medicine or Providence/Swedish. Because UW is a public institution, no religious restrictions are imposed on physicians or patients.  With UW Medicine, Boeing employees and their families will have access to the full spectrum of reproductive health read more…

Why the Rights of Roman Catholics Matter More than the Rights of Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses

I encourage you to watch the very recent Congressional testimony from Mathew Staver of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University of Law on why the rights of some people matter more than others. You might think Staver is an extremist, but he was invited to appear before the panel because many members in Congress support Staver’s views. read more…