Hawaii Universal Healthcare plan?

SOURCE: Koohan Paik (koohanpaik@gmail.com)
SUBHEAD: Hawaii bill considers possibility of universal healthcare coverage to residents.

By Jill N. Tokuda on 25 March 2017 in Island Breath -

Image above: Senator Lorraine Inouye in the Hawaii State Building in Honolulu. From (https://www.flickr.com/photos/134175784@N05/26056617971/).

[IB Publisher's note: This is time sensitive. Deadline tomorrow for comments.]

After witnessing the Republicans' tour-de-force fumbled attempt to rob Americans of healthcare, it occurred to me that *now* is the perfect "opening" to push for a healthcare system that truly serves us.

Unless you own an insurance company, that would be "universal healthcare," or "single-payer healthcare" -- basic medical coverage for all, for little or no money, with the opportunity to purchase additional coverage from a private insurance company.

Besides costing tax payers less money, universal healthcare is a great way to shift wealth back to the people from the 1%, and also from defense spending back to social services.

So I did a bit of research to find out how we can get back to the universal health care that Hawaii happened to have enjoyed a quarter-century ago. And guess what I found out?

There are folks in State government thinking along these same lines. Turns out, funding to investigate the viability of a universal healthcare system is being proposed this week!

Yep, there is a line-item in a budget bill to provide funding to the Hawaii Health Authority (they do healthcare planning for the state) to research how Hawaii can get universal healthcare -- health care for all! The item proposes to give a salary to two researchers, who would be helped by nine volunteers to draw up a plan. This is the first step in the right direction.

Of course, the health insurance companies are powerful and oppose such a plan that cuts their profit out of the equation of our healthcare. But if this bill gets enough testimonies sent in BY MONDAY NIGHT, and our senators vote to fund this research, we will be on our way to a system that would resemble Medicare for all ages. Wouldn't that be great?

The budget bill is HB100 in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Here is the web site to submit testimony: (http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov)

(It's cumbersome at first, but you get the hang of it - just don't forget your password!)

Once you indicate HB100, there is a place for you to make a comment that you would like to see the Hawaii Health Authority funded so that those nine volunteers plus a couple of paid staff can design a Universal Health Care system for Hawaii.

AND... call the Hawaii State senator who represents you -- and tell them the same thing.

AND... if you are so inclined, call the other senators in the Ways and Means Committee. Here is the list of their names and numbers.

Ways and Means Committee
Chair: Jill N. Tokuda: 808-587-7220
Vice Chair: Donovan M. Dela Cruz: 808-586-6090
Lorraine Inouye: 808-586-7335
J. Kalani English: 808-587-7225
Brickwood Galuteria: 808-586-6740
Breene Harimoto: 808-586-6230
Kai Kahele: 808-586-6760
Gil Riviere: 808-586-7330
Maile Shimabukuro: 808-586-7793
Brian Taniguchi: 808-586-6460
Glenn Wakai: 808-586-8585

Hawaii State Senators
 On Kauai it is Ron Kouchi: 808-586-6030
For other districts find your Senator's phone number here:
Please let's fund the Hawaii Health Authority's research on Universal Health Care. But testimony must be in by Monday evening. Here is an opportunity to make a difference!


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