Idaho’s Crisis Standards of Care Coming Soon
Governor Little took to the stage Tuesday, urging Idahoans to get vaccinated. The hospital ICU beds are full while the Delta variant continues to infect the country. Primary Health announces that they will be closing early due to too many folks coming in with Covid-like conditions to their urgent care facilities. Saint Alphonsus pauses non-emergency procedures due to Covid. We are seeing a pattern that is very disturbing and leads us to ask a few questions.
Could this current crisis have been avoided?
Hindsight being twenty twenty, how did the ICU beds fill up so fast? Why didn't someone sound the alarm when the the beds were at half capacity? Other states have mandated indoor and outdoor mask orders. Idaho has never issued a statewide mask order with good reason. Idahoans wouldn't obey it which would escalate the situation.
Perhaps, like the country, Idaho was lulled into a false sense of security. Why didn't the hospitals look at increasing ICU capacities when the Delta variant began to emerge as a serious threat to public health. Instead, Primary Health, Saint Luke's and Saint Alphonsus issued a vaccination or termination dictate to its employees. The hospitals refused to meet with Idaho senators who reached out to them to avoid a worker shortage that we are now in.
Speaker Bedke publicly said that the government should not interfere in the affairs of business. However, we're not talking about making widgets here, the crisis is in public health that was ignored by Bedke who refused to reconvene the legislature. Could more healthcare workers make a difference in fighting Covid in Idaho? Now all three medical providers are suffering staff shortages.
Statewide Crisis Standards of Care Restrictions?
The governor told us yesterday that Idahoans could denied healthcare because the healthcare system is overwhelmed because of the Covid influx of patients. Under the 'statewide standards' a bureaucrat will decide what medical care you will receive. Medical care could be denied to you because of these 'emergency' conditions.
Recall the Legislature?
The Idaho has the legislature has the ability to recall itself thanks to the house not adjourning. If 'standards' will be implemented shouldn't the legislature have a voice in that decision? They did vote to approve this move last year, however is there only one branch of government?
Conventional wisdom would dictate that if the variant spreads, then shutdowns or at the very least limits on large public gatherings. Less public gatherings would mean a less chance of spreading the disease? Could we see events only for vaccinated? The problem with that requirement is that vaccinated people spread the disease. Who will be the first politician to call for a reduction in attendance at large events?
It appears we haven't learned the lessons of 2020 when it comes to Covid. Let's hope that somewhere leadership emerges to help guild our ship.