Bill advances to require health companies to reveal the substance behind their slogans

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A mother's battle after her son's suicide is opening the door to better information for people shopping for a health plan.

“Today I came to see a bill that was born out of my grief and my son's fierce fight be passed,” Rachel Smith said while standing near the Capitol steps amid a sea sea of symbolic tombstones commemorating those who have died by suicide.

Her son was Brennen Smith, who died by suicide at the age of 20 on Sept. 11, 2015.

“He went, out unfortunately, with his hope stolen and his belief that it could get better stolen,” she said.

As she told KIRO-7’s Jesse Jones two years ago, Rachel sought help from her Kaiser Permanente medical plan when her son confessed his depression and cocaine addiction. She had selected the plan because its descriptions made promises of timely help. “It said the care you need, when you need it, blazoned across the top.”

But it turns out Kaiser was able to meet its own time standards only 43% of the time. Brennen Smith was told he'd have to wait 29 days.

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On day 24, surveillance video shows him legally buying the shotgun he used to kill himself. His mother now uses the box the gun came in, to tell Brennen's story.

“He walked across the street and $5.99 he purchased the ammunition and within an hour he was dead.”

Today there was bipartisan solidarity for Brennen's Law. It passed 97-0.

“I think that this bill is moving us in the right direction, by facilities and what they can offer and also how long it's going to take to get in,” said Colfax Republican Joe Schmick

Tacoma Democrat Laurie Jenkins was the lead sponsor. "I knew Matt Brennen, this never should have happened, but now that it has to try and turn this into something I think is what's important.”

Rachel now takes her crusade to the state Senate, in hopes they'll send Brennan's law to the governor for his signature.

“May not one more child or family suffer. May it end here.”