Tag Archives: health care

Why the Walgreens Providence Alliance is Very, Very Bad News

Recently the Seattle Times reported that nineteen groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, had signed a letter asking questions about a new deal under which Providence Health Systems would provide health services in Walgreen clinics.

What was not included in that report is the fact that Walgreens recently announced that it is taking over Rite-Aid in an all-cash deal worth more than $17 billion, a deal which would make it the largest pharmacy in the country.

So now we have the largest pharmacy chain in the country linking up with a Catholic health care ministry that systematically deprives patients of medically appropriate services, including contraception.

What could go wrong?

There are more than 130 Rite-Aid stores in Washington State, which is also home to the highest percentage of health systems under Catholic ownership/control.

A linkage between the hundreds of Walgreen/Rite-Aid pharmacies in Washington State and Providence Health, which follows the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care, has potential to dramatically limit access to legal, medically appropriate care.

Who will stand up to protect patients and physicians from the increasing power of religiously-directed health care ministries and their expansion into pharmacy-based services?



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

MonicaH profileTulsa 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 designed to limit a patient’s end-of-life or euthanasia options, there’s no shortage of controversial topics in America today when it comes to religion/morality overlapping with science/medicine. On this edition of ST, we discuss such a topic as we confront certain practices of some Catholic hospitals. Our guess is Monica Harrington, an ardent critic of such hospitals who thinks they are unfairly — and illegally — imposing their moral values upon their patients (and are doing so in institutions that, while private, are also heavily financed with taxpayer dollars).”

You can read more and listen to the audio recording through this link:  Tulsa Public Radio Interview with Monica Harrington

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 University of Washington.