A lack of care
EDITOR: In 2013, I attended two Kaiser Permanente classes. One was “managing depression,” the other was “mind-body medicine for stress.” Attendance in these classes was carefully documented. I assumed it was because we could not climb the care ladder unless we had been documented as attending the classes. Well, it didn't matter because the therapists informed us that private counseling on a regular basis was not an option at Kaiser.
Four of the six “mind-body” classes had substitute teachers who were poorly prepared. At one point, 30 percent of the class walked out in dissatisfaction.
What struck me in both classes was the desperation and need of the patients.
Kaiser has been fined $4 million for not providing timely access to mental health services (“Mental health care at Kaiser in dispute,” June 15). This is not a union dispute. This a lack of care and a lack of caring.
EDITOR: Jacqueline Schael (“Real working class?” Letters, June 15) contrasts the struggle of the owner of a small business with the life of the working class. It's the wrong contrast: People who earn a working-class wage and small business owners have much in common; they're both struggling. The real contrast is between these two groups together and the tiny minority in this country whose income has steadily gone up and up in recent years, to levels far above that of regular folks (and way beyond “struggling”); or to the corporations enjoying huge profits but paying little or no income tax.
My father owned his own business when I was growing up and earned poverty-level wages while working every day of the week. I chose to be a wage-earner but earned low enough wages most of my career that I spent my weekends keeping old cars running and otherwise struggling to raise my family. We both struggled, Dad and I.