PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

February 10, 2009

The Establishment of a Hawaii Health Authority

Filed under: 2Healthcare,HI Politics,Legislature — frosty @ 3:30 pm

senate bill 424, relating to health creates a hawaii health authority

responsible for overall health and planning for the state and shall be responsible for determining future capacity needs of health providers, facilities, equipment, and support services providers.

and

shall develop a comprehensive health plan for all individuals in the state.

it sounds to me like this is the first step toward establishing universal health care in the state of hawaii. of course, there is no language relating specifically to single-payer health care, however it seems the authority would have the power to establish such a system.

unfortunately, section 2 of the bill appropriates x number of dollars for fiscal year 09-10. its my understanding that any bill requiring funds will be dead on arrival. but maybe not….

this bill has a hearing scheduled in the senate health committee. while i know its too late to submit testimony (i just found out about this today and am only now finding the time to post), it couldn’t hurt to call the members of the senate health committee urging them to support the bill. contact information for this committee can be found here.

also, if you feel really strongly, you can submit late testimony, with the understanding that it may not be considered prior to the committee vote.

for your information, the introducers are David Ige, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Gary Hooser, Les Ihara, and Ros Baker.

2 Comments »

  1. Here is the latest status on that bill.

    http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2009/lists/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=424

    in Conference Room 016

    Last time I went (on Wednesday) there was an overflow crowd. Couldn’t even get in the room.

    Comment by Joe O'Brien — February 12, 2009 @ 3:43 pm

  2. I’d like 424 to be very specifically targeted to have a more immediate effect. For example, I’d like to see legislation encouraging health care providers with an incentive to transfer their records to a common standard database. Billing to insurance companies would be automatic with less errors and prompt payment for services rendered. Or I’d like to see legislation to self-insure our doctors in this state for mal-practice insurance. I think that a state mal-practice insurance program would be cheaper than private companies and would significantly lower costs. This kind of legislation (424)just appears to make legislators look good when they really aren’t doing anything at all. As part of the mal-practice insurance, the state could also set up a competing health insurance program for uninsured and underinsured people. When people see the eventual efficiencies of the state program that will lower health care costs, then more will want to join. Until then no one wants to take the risk and drop his current program. At the same time, the state needs to set up health insurance rights of the insured so that they will have coverage when they need it. When all health insurance programs are competing on a even basis with the state program and not just ignoring claims of their insured, people will see the benefits and low cost that a single govt program can have. Legislators don’t seem to have a vision of this system and a way to get there. You’d think that they’d be further along the path of understanding instead of studying the problem to death. They’ve been years in discussion. Lots of ideas and programs have been tried. What’s the problem?

    Comment by Al Toda — March 7, 2009 @ 5:46 pm

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