If you are looking for someone to hold accountable for the sorry state of Washington’s mental-health system, look no further than Jay Inslee.
In fact, the Seattle Times’ Jonathan Martin recently wrote, “If taxpayers were to understand what’s going on, they would be rooting for [Pierce County Superior Court commissioner Craig Adams] to throw Gov. Jay Inslee in jail instead of the hospital’s brand-new CEO, Cheryl Strange.”
Washington’s mental health crisis is a problem that has festered after years and years of Democrat leadership in Olympia. Our state is ranked “near the bottom in the nation in access to community psychiatric beds.” Recent headlines exposed that patients were “routinely ‘boarded’ in emergency rooms, sometimes strapped to gurneys without treatment.”
In an attempt to address the problem, lawmakers “poured in at least $120 million in the last two years by opening more than 150 new short-term psychiatric beds in community hospitals and paying for two new wards at Western State Hospital.” Unfortunately, substantial improvements have not been made. Via the Seattle Times:
“After all that spending, the rate of emergency-room boarding briefly dipped but is now back up to the level it was before the Supreme Court ruling. Patients in King County are actually waiting longer on average to get into Western State Hospital — more than a month. Overall, the waiting list for civilly committed patients is more than 70 names long.
“The bottleneck at Western State Hospital is caused by a severe staffing crunch. Part of that is inadequate pay for difficult-to-fill positions. Inslee wants to blame that on the Legislature’s budget-writers — but the hospital’s budget is now up to pre-Recession levels, adjusted for inflation.”
Inslee’s failed leadership has only made the problems caused by his Democrat predecessors worse. Our very green governor has presided over a “toxic labor-management culture, with rapid turnover.” Under his so-called leadership, whistleblowers fear retaliation and — of course — the special interests-driven will of labor unions rules. Via the Seattle Times’ Jonathan Martin:
“You know whom Inslee does listen to regarding Western State Hospital? The union.
“After a meeting and a letter from the Washington Federation of State Employees, Inslee vetoed new authority for Western State Hospital to ease its staffing crunch by quickly hiring advanced registered nurse practitioners to ease the workload for doctors. The veto baffled everyone, including fellow Democrats in Olympia who championed the change.
“Message: A crisis is not a crisis if a major campaign contributor asks for a favor.”
Inslee’ willingness to place the will of unions/major campaign contributors over what is best for Washingtonians is not new or unique to the mental-health system. Rather, it’s the type of quid-pro-quo culture that defines Inslee’s administration.
Lou Caldwell says
The mental health arena used to be (2002-80superb when I served on the Pierce County Mental Health Advisory board. WA was near the top (as a state) in availability, care, people at the top who really did know sic’em from cmhere. What a shame that doofus governor and a couple of his equally unqualified predecessors, screwed up a perfectly good system. It certainly is time to clean house in Olympia, quit letting the animals (unions) run the zoo.
It just goes to show, whatever Democrats are put in charge of or touch, they ALWAYS screw it up! Sad, but no suprise there!
Our state has thousands of victims and families who have been devastated by our horrific mental health care system. The stories are heartbreaking. And yes Inslee should be tried and convicted for his complacency and corruption. In fact, he should lift his moratorium on the death penalty just for the occasion.
You know, Gov. McConnell was prosecuted for corrupion by the Feds for arranging meetings in return for cash and gifts. The Supreme Court ruled that arranging meetings was not an “official act.” However, vetoing legislation in return for cash would meet this Supreme Court’s definition of corruption. How can this be pursued legally?