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Monday, November 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Guest Opinion

Opinion >  Guest Opinion

James M. Burkman: We need a fair system to stop surprise medical bills

As a physician, my first priority it to protect my patients To that end, I keep their best interests in mind and when they need care – particularly unexpected care – they can trust that I’m concerned with their health, not payment. For too many, however, their care is only the beginning of a life stressor: economic insult is added to medical injury weeks later when they receive surprise medical bills.

Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Peg Currie: Providence focuses on shared values during labor talks

At Providence, we take pride in knowing we have been the Spokane area’s health partner for more than 130 years. Our patients and employees are the heart of our mission, and we are committed to serving everyone in this community, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. With the possibility of a strike at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center looming, it may be tempting to frame the issues as black and white, and make sweeping judgments about who is right and who is wrong.
Opinion >  Guest Opinion

The Rev. Mark Finney: When a nation loses her soul

The White House announced Thursday its plan to further slash already historically low refugee admissions for the fourth time in a row. For the past 40 years the refugee number has averaged 90,000 annually and ranged as high as 200,000. Last year 30,000 refugees found new hope on our shores – including 161 here in Spokane. For the coming year, our President dropped the ceiling to 18,000.
Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Kay Murano: Getting real about solutions to homelessness

Homelessness has become Spokane’s lightning rod in public debates and our upcoming election. The sight of people living on our streets – sometimes in a state of disorientation or despair – tugs at the heart of our city. It is a true community challenge, but it can be solved if we find common ground.
Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Maura Healey: Why we’re rejecting Purdue’s opioid settlement

Purdue Pharma, the drug manufacturer behind the addictive painkiller OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy Sunday. It has been a long time coming. In the past two decades, nearly 400,000 Americans have lost their lives to the opioid epidemic. Communities have been devastated. Year after year, families have called for accountability and justice. That’s why responding to this crisis has been my top priority. In Massachusetts, we’ve created prevention education in schools, expanded access to lifesaving medicines such as Narcan, and prosecuted criminals who traffic heroin and fentanyl. And, on behalf of our state and thousands of families who have lost loved ones, we sued Purdue Pharma for its role in creating and profiting off the opioid epidemic. I also sued the individual members of the Sackler family who own and control the company, which no public official had tried to do before.
Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Chris McFaul: It’s time to help rural hospice patients

It may seem odd to think about snow in August, but recently I’ve been pondering barriers. To reach a hospice patient in rural Spokane County last February, our team battled treacherous roads and even climbed a massive snowbank to get to the patient’s house and deliver needed care. You might not expect that of hospice and, like me, may not even be aware of what hospice entails until someone close to you receives a life-limiting diagnosis. When this happened to a family member 11 years ago, I discovered what hospice truly is: care with dignity, which allows patients to remain at home in their last days while honoring their life and their wishes. Hospice, in short, provides patients with peace of mind and body, all while enabling families to give quality care to their loved one, with expert support to lean on while doing so.
Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Lance Gurel: City of Spokane Valley Mayor Rod Higgins is right, but he could not be more wrong

In recent spats with constituents and civic leaders, Spokane Valley Mayor Rod Higgins has asserted his right to dictate the terms of the public comment period at Spokane Valley City Council meetings. Whether it is rigid adherence to a three-minute time limit (a time limit he previously reduced from six minutes) or his admonishment that public comment is a “privilege, not a right,” the terms and existence of a public comment period at Spokane Valley City Council meetings are totally at the mayor’s discretion.

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