May 12, 2010
NEW — 7:11 a.m. May 12, 2010
The nonpartisan King County Council cracked along partisan lines Monday, as members praised national health care reform in a narrow decision.
The symbolic measure supports the implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in March. The council adopted the legislation in a split decision. Democrats on the nine-member council backed the measure; Republicans dissented.
“It is time to reform our health care system,” Chairman Bob Ferguson, the prime sponsor of the legislation and a Democrat, said in a statement after the May 10 decision. “The health care act isn’t perfect, but it will help provide access to basic health care for the more than 150,000 King County residents who are currently uninsured.”
April 27, 2010
Liberty High School
“It is a good thing for young people, because it assists them by helping them acquire health insurance.”
— Nick Antonio, senior
“It is going to force me to pay for something I don’t want.”
— Jason Murray, freshman
Issaquah High School
“I don’t really know much about this bill at all.”
— Neel Rijhwani, sophomore
“I think it’s great that the bill has passed. I can stay under my parents’ plan until I am 26 now.”
— Sawyer Mittelstaedt, sophomore
Skyline High School
“I personally don’t know much about the health care reform, but seeing how the teens in my community are equally unaware, I don’t think that I will be affected much.”
— Warren Chang, sophomore
“With government regulating health care, they’re setting up a new socialist at the same time. I don’t know if I’ll be affected much, because the reform isn’t specifically targeted towards us.”
— Kevin Purdy, junior
April 27, 2010
A lot of talk has surrounded the recently signed health care bill, and as it waits finalization by the U.S. Senate, the bill has raised as many questions as it has answered. But the basic need for a plan — and the effect of it on teens today — is relatively unambiguous.
The need for health care over the past decade has become apparent as prices of basic health care climb and the costs of dealing with disease become unreal. New and expensive asthma medications can cost $50 per prescription. For youths with diabetes, the annual cost of medications has doubled from 2001 to 2007, while the number of children with diabetes has been steadily increasing.
According to the American Diabetes Association, treating the disease cost the average patient $6,649 in 2007. As said by Time magazine, such things as growth hormone deficiencies have staggeringly high costs and the annual bill for parents can exceed $20,000 — doctor’s visits, tests and hospitalizations not included.
April 20, 2010
Tea Party activists came to downtown Issaquah on a cloudy afternoon last week to brew discontent with the policies of Congress and the Obama administration.
Issaquah and Eastside residents gathered for about 90 minutes for the Tea Party rally and a smaller counter-rally organized by the 5th District Democrats. The dueling events attracted about 120 people — about 100 for the Tea Party rally and about 20 Democrats.
Participants held aloft colorful signs at the corner of Front Street and Sunset Way to cacophony of honks as drivers passed the intersection. Others carried U.S. and “Don’t Tread on Me” flags — a yellow banner with a coiled snake and a symbol of anti-government protest.
Issaquah resident Tim Ooyman said he attended the Tea Party rally to protest federal spending and the way President Obama and lawmakers handled the healthcare-reform bill.
“The silent majority needs to stop being silent,” he said.
Ooyman and other activists picked April 15 — the federal deadline for filing income-tax returns — for the rally. Local activists also held events in Bellevue and Seattle. Washington State Patrol officials estimated the Tea Party crowd at the state Capitol in Olympia at 3,000 people. Read more
April 16, 2010
April 6, 2010
State Sen. Cheryl Pflug, a registered nurse who represents Issaquah in Olympia, sponsored a bill to establish a pair of pilot projects intended to make healthcare more affordable. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the legislation March 25.
The measure sponsored by Pflug, a Maple Valley Republican, promotes a team approach to healthcare. The law encourages public and private healthcare systems to coordinate patient care and pay for results rather than treatments.
The measure establishes at least two accountable-care organization pilot projects — collaborations between physicians and hospitals designed to allow a team approach to coordinating patient care. The legislation requires the projects to be established by Jan. 1, 2012.
“Accountable-care organizations change today’s patient care model,” Pflug said in a news release. “Instead of paying doctors a set amount per patient visit or treatment, primary physicians in accountable-care organizations receive additional compensation when they help improve a patient’s health such that it saves money by preventing hospital visits and preventable complications of chronic illness.”
January 5, 2010
During a single City Council term, John Rittenhouse advanced watershed legislation to reshape city elections and establish a human services campus in Issaquah.
The former councilman led the effort to cap city campaign contributions at $500 for cash and in-kind donations from a single party — a measure the council overwhelmingly approved in May.
Rittenhouse led the push to open a proposed human services campus, a clearinghouse where needy people can receive food, healthcare and employment. The council OK’d the first steps toward a campus — location scouting and business planning — in a unanimous vote last month.
Before Rittenhouse left the council last week, colleagues praised him as affable and effective. Read more
December 20, 2009
NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 20, 2009
A clearinghouse where people in need can receive food, healthcare and employment is a step closer to reality for Issaquah.
Officials hired nonprofit Family Resource Center, of Redmond, to locate a suitable site for a human services campus, engage in business planning and provide legal assistance. City Council members approved the $35,000 pact in a unanimous vote Dec. 7.
October 13, 2009
Gov. Chris Gregoire called for national health care reform at the Oct. 12 groundbreaking of a new Swedish Medical Center campus in the Issaquah Highlands, as she praised the planned hospital as a model program. The governor, a second-term Democrat, called for Congress to set aside partisanship and deliver “affordable, accessible high-quality health care.”
Gregoire praised Swedish Medical Center executives for taking steps to bring additional medical services to Issaquah. The campus, set to open in phases in 2011 and 2012, will become the first new hospital in King County to open in 25 years.
Physicians will offer inpatient and outpatient services such as cardiac care, obstetrics and neurosciences at the high-tech campus. The project is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs in health care and hospital-related fields. Crews began excavation work at the 18-acre site in mid-August. Read more
October 13, 2009