Retiree thanks legislator; tragic death reaction | Letters

Thanks from a retiree

As a retiree from the UW Medical Center emergency room who has lived in the 30th Legislative District for 13 years, I am extremely pleased to see that our district is represented by a dynamic and engaged legislator like Representative Jesse Johnson.

Rep. Johnson led the fight to pass HB 1565 to provide a much-needed cost of living adjustment for the oldest and most vulnerable public sector retirees. I hope that the Legislature will take action in 2022 to provide real relief to retirees next session with an ongoing cost of living adjustment and trust that Rep. Johnson will be a key figure in those discussions. My fellow public sector retirees and I were also pleased to see that Rep. Johnson, along with Sen. Claire Wilson and Rep. Jamila Taylor, were a part of the effort to balance our tax code and make the wealthiest pay their fair share through capital gains wealth tax.

George L. Armour

Federal Way

Tragic death

The article about the death of Kaloni Bolton at the hands of two different “urgent care” facilities operated by UW Medicine is both tragic and infuriating (RE: “She couldn’t breathe: Child dies from asthma attack at medical clinic”). It is an example of medicine practiced as big business, rather than a human service; a commodification format seeing patients as “customers.”

The big players are battling each other with McDonald-like “urgent care’ facilities, with blurry definitions between “urgent” care and “emergency” care. And unless you direct your UW physician to refer you to local providers, such as a particular P/T group, their default position is always to send you to another UW facility, a practice that keeps medical revenue in the UW loop.

This Big Business approach harms both providers and patients. Who apologized to Kaloni’s family in that YouTube video? Not the head of UW Medicine. Not the head of UW Urgent Care South King County. Not the leadership of Valley Medical Center. Just a doctor who happens to be brown-skinned, and whose name doesn’t appear at either Renton Landing or Benson Urgent Care facilities.

This event is even more outrageous given the recent extremely negative coverage and investigative reporting showing both African American parents and their children subjected to racial bias at Seattle Children’s Hospital (which is UW Medical-affiliated), and same charges of racial bias Children’s/UW management of the Odessa Brown clinic in the Central District.

Further words on this tragedy fail me.

Lorie Lucky

Des Moines