On July 1, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, joined by Washington State Representative Frank Chopp and Washington State Senator David Frockt, toured the voluntary psychiatric unit at UW Medical Center and met with psychiatry residents before observing a tele-psychiatry demonstration. The state has earmarked dollars to fund planning for a new psychiatric teaching hospital at UW Medicine.
On July 2, Senator Maria Cantwell and Congresswoman Susan DelBene held a press conference at Harborview to discuss critical issues in healthcare, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the importance of continuing expanded Medicaid. Other speakers included Harborview executive director, Paul Hayes and Dr. Nancy Sugg, medical director of the Pioneer Square Clinic.
Topics included the potential impact that the striking of the ACA would have on patients and health systems in the Pacific Northwest -- and particularly on Harborview as the the safety net hospital and Level I trauma center for the region.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Fifth Circuit in New Orleans will hear oral arguments on declaring the ACA unconstitutional in the case of Texas v. United States of America on July 9. Cantwell, DelBene and Hayes were joined by patients who have fought cancer and other diseases which might be considered pre-existing conditions if the ACA ceases to exist.
See press coverage of the event.
Senator Cantwell's Facebook page also live-streamed the press conference.