Kaiser Permanente – Hiding Discrimination?

In June, as COVID-19 cases threatened to overwhelm healthcare resources, many states were working to produce guidelines for rationing care in public and private hospitals and healthcare facilities in the event of shortages of equipment and staff. Unfortunately many of these policies have a chilling discriminatory effect. 

The California Care Rationing Coalition, a broad-based coalition from the disability, aging, anti-racism, and fat-rights communities, worked with the California Governor’s office and leadership at the Department of Health and Human Services  and successfully changed the state’s rationing protocols to help eliminate discrimination, creating a model for other states

The new guidelines state that healthcare decisions, including rationing of resources, cannot be based on age, race, disability (including weight-related disabilities and chronic medical conditions), gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity (including national origin and language spoken), ability to pay, weight/size, socioeconomic status, insurance status, perceived self-worth, perceived quality of life, immigration status, incarceration status, homelessness, or past or future use of resources. 

“Why Are You Hiding?”

The new guidelines were a massive step in the right direction, but there’s more work to do. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell if hospitals are following the guidelines because they are currently keeping their policies secret.

That creates a situation where, despite the hard-won non-discriminatory guidelines, people of color, disabled people, fat people, seniors and others who are covered may still be facing discrimination in COVID-19 treatment, including refusal of care. Even if they are able to choose which facility to go to, they have no way of knowing whether or not they are likely to face discrimination.

We are demanding that healthcare facilities, starting with California-based giant Kaiser Permanente, provide transparency in their compliance with CA State guidelines, including publicly disclosing their rationing policies.

You can help by posting to social media demanding that Kaiser publicly disclose their rationing policies, and inviting your friends to join in using the hashtags #NoBodyIsDisposable #PostYourPolicy #NoICUgenics

Here’s an example:
Kaiser Permanente – Why are you hiding your policy? What is your policy? We need to know! We are worried about people of color, disabled people, higher weight people, and seniors being refused treatment during COVID-19. Publicly disclose your COVID care and rationing policies. @aboutKP @KPOCThrive @KPSCALnews @KPMemberService @KPSanDiego @kpeastbayarea @KPGreaterSac @JMillerPhipps #NoBodyIsDisposable #PostYourPolicy #NoICUgenics

For more info on the campaign, sample social media posts, and articles to share check out:

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3 thoughts on “Kaiser Permanente – Hiding Discrimination?

    1. I agree. It doesn’t matter if you’re protected under policy if the people who’re supposed to be taking care of you can just decide to ignore the policy. Or as Tygra put it, “Rules are only meaningful if people agree to follow them. Otherwise, they’re just words.”

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