Alaska members of the House of Representatives have been tangling over a number of patients’ rights amendments to a telehealth bill that the governor has requested.
Their votes on Sunday night lined up almost exactly according to how they have been funded by ASHNHA, the Alaska statewide association of hospitals, nursing homes, and healthcare partners.
For example, many of those who voted against an amendment to allow patients to have an advocate in their hospital room with them received campaign funds from ASHNHA.
Listen to the debate segment, featuring opposite points of view — Rep. Zack Fields arguing for the bureaucracy, and Rep. David Eastman arguing for patients and families — here:
Amendment Four passed 20-16, against ASHNHA’s wishes. If it stood, it would guarantee hospitals must allow a patient to have an advocate with them in ths hospital.
That’s when Democrats, such as Rules Chair Bryce Edgmon, said the entire bill was now too flawed to proceed, and Speaker Louise Stutes sent it back to Rules Committee to have that provision stripped out of it.
Here are the members of the House who received campaign contributions from ASHNHA in 2020. ASHNHA opposes this provision to allow patients to have their advocates with them:
Now, here is how the vote went down on Amendment 4, the rights of patients to have a family member or advocate with them, within parameters, while they are being cared for by the medical establishment. Most members who received funds from ASHNHA voted the way ASHNHA wanted them to — against the amendment.