American College of Healthcare Executives
Hawaii/Pacific Regent's Message, Spring 2010
In This Issue

Message from the Regent - 2010
Hawaii Congressional Candidates Speak On Healthcare Reform
Make Listening a Key Component of Your Leadership Strategy
Ensure delivery of Chapter E-newsletter (Disclaimer)

Chapter Officers

Kevin Roberts, FACHE

Jay Duquette

Stan Berry, FACHE
Christi Keliipio

LTC Ellen Daly, USA

Earl Greenia, PhD, FACHE

Gertie Francoise

Coral Andrews, RN

Maria Kostylo
Hawaii Congressional Candidates Speak On Healthcare Reform

(Taken from an article by Derrick DePledge, Honolulu Advertiser, March 4, 2010).

Former congressman, Ed Case and State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa are enclined to support President Obama's healthcare reform plan if elected to Congress, but Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou believes the president and federal lawmakers should start over with a clean slate. The three candidates in the May 22 special election in urban Honolulu's 1st Congressional District discussed healthcare reform last night at a forum sponsored by the American College of Healthcare Executives Hawaii-Pacific Chapter at the Hawaii Prince Hotel in Waikiki. Obama...asked Congress to vote within weeks on a reform plan to expand coverage to the uninsured, contain rising medical costs and waste and reduce the federal deficit.

George Greene, president and chief executive officer of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii,...asked the candidates if they would vote for the plan if it includes, as expected, three provisions that could benefit Hawaii:

   *$100 million over 10 years to help local hospitals treat people under Quest, the state's version of Medicaid, the federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

   *An exemption for the state's Prepaid Health Care Act of 1974, which requires businesses to provide insurance to employees who work more than 20 hours per week.

   * A study on the geographic variation of federal reimbursements under Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly, which could lead to higher payments to healthcare providers in the islands.

     Case, a Democrat, said he supports all three provisions for Hawaii and Obama's recent suggestions to include ideas such as expanding medical savings accounts and funding state demonstration projects on medical malpractice insurance reform like health courts. But he said he could not say for sure how he would vote until he sees what is in the final bill. He also said he would reject the bill if he thought it was bad for the nation, even if it contained provisions beneficial to Hawaii.

    Hanabusa, a Democrat, said she also supports the provisions for Hawaii, particularly the preservation of the Prepaid Health Care Act, a landmark that has placed Hawaii among the leading states nationally in healthcare coverage. "We shouldn't lose anything in the process," Hanabusa said.

    Djou, a Republican, described the way the reform plan has evolved as "extraordinarily ugly" and said it should be rewritten without the incentives added for states to help win passage in Congress. "If this national proposal is so good, why does Hawaii need an exemption?" Djou said. "And if it isn't so good, then, of course, you need to push some form of exemption in there. But then, are you willing to stomach all the other exemptions, all the special kickbacks and favors, for all the other states that they want?"

     Case and Hanabusa also said they would support the U.S. Senate moving the reform plan by reconcilliation, a procedure used on budget matters that requires a majority vote for passage instead of the supermajority needed to break a fillibuster.  Djou said he opposed reconcilliation because it would confrlict with Obama's own goal that the reform plan achieve bipartisan support.

     The special election is to fill out the remainder of former congressman Neil Abercrombie's term.  Abercrombie campaign in the Democratic primary for governor. 

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