The ACLU, along with 10 other civil rights and health care advocacy organizations, sent Inslee a letter requesting he enact a six-month moratorium on any decision by the State Department of Health on proposed or pending applications related to hospital ownership, operation, or management.
“Our concern is that when secular hospitals merge with religious corporations the result is that the health care facility will have to follow the religious dogma,” Doug Honig, spokesperson for the ACLU, told KOMO Newsradio. “That can limit the access of patients to medically appropriate and lawful procedures, specifically end-of-life care, reproductive health care and it can affect care for lesbian, gay and transsexual people.”
The organizations asked Inslee to conduct a community health needs assessment to evaluate the impact of mergers with religious health care corporations on patients’ ability to access medically appropriate health care services.
“This would give a chance for state leadership to get more information about pending transactions, learn more about how they would affect health care access in Washington state and get some real concrete data on this,” Honig said.
Inslee’s spokesperson David Postman said the governor has not seen the ACLU’s letter yet, his staff is reviewing it.