Letter: Catholic hospitals

June 1, 2014 

As a Catholic and a nurse I am unaware of any great conspiracy by Catholics to take over health care systems in the USA. They are not President Obama. Ms. Harrington (Tri-City Herald, May 28) says "the major source of Catholic health system funding comes from Medicare and Medicaid, and in many cases here in Washington, from direct tax subsides through local public hospital taxing districts. This is a clear violation of the Washington State Constitution." Of course, ALL private and religious health care systems receive funding from national, state and local sources but they receive all these dollars for providing health care! And Catholic CEOs are really paid too much? Catholics really deliver less charity care? If Catholic systems did not rescue failing hospitals, the community loses health care!

Catholic health systems share belief and value systems with the services they provide but nobody is forced to use those systems. And if a patient involuntarily arrives at such a facility, say unconscious and by ambulance, the Catholic medical systems have to follow the same standards and treatment protocols outlined by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations or they would not receive Medicare funding. Get a grip!

ZACK RINDERER, Kennewick

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