Categorized | Health

Lingle, Akaka comment on health care reform

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka issued the following statement regarding the House of Representatives passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

“We are one step closer to improving the nation’s health care system. This legislation expands access to health care coverage, improves the quality and availability of services, and attempts to slow increasing costs. When this bill becomes law, people with preexisting conditions will be able to get insurance, and unfair lifetime limits imposed by insurance companies will be prohibited.

The Act also recognizes Hawaii’s unique health care system. The Act includes a rule of construction that is intended to preserve our unique ERISA exemption and the employer-mandated insurance that the exemption enables. I am also proud that the legislation includes a permanent restoration of a Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) allotment for Hawaii. DSH is intended to support hospitals that care for significant numbers of Medicaid and uninsured patients.”

Gov. Linda Lingle released the following statement regarding the health care reform bill:

“The health care legislation approved by the House will force Hawaii and all the other states into a one-size-fits-all program that is financially unsustainable.

The $1.2 trillion government takeover of health care will cost Hawaii residents, conservatively, an estimated $300 million over five years in added costs to our Medicaid programs, which are already hemorrhaging red ink. This legislation will impose new taxes totaling $569.2 billion that will burden Americans for generations to come. It will also raise premiums, necessitate the rationing of health care, impede economic growth and job creation as well as require cuts to Medicare.

Governors across the country have consistently stated that states need the flexibility to adjust their Medicaid programs so they can deliver quality health care to patients at a reasonable and sustainable price.

Hawaii has already undertaken health care reforms. Specifically, our QUEST Medicaid program, which the federal government estimates has saved nearly $700 million by instituting cost-efficiency measures, provides quality health care to low-income men, women and children.

Hawaii needs the freedom to continue these reforms. We don’t need restrictions in the form of unfunded federal mandates.

This bill was passed in spite of the majority opinion of the American people. It was passed by making backroom deals with Congressional leaders that will ultimately cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars. While politics encompasses the art of compromise, this bill secured the ‘yea’ votes behind closed doors, without regard to the long-term economic impact and the overwhelming opposition by many citizens from Hawaii and across the nation to many of its provisions.

It will be some time before the American public sees exactly what is in this bill that contains more than 2,000 pages. Even the House Speaker admitted last week, ‘we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.’ This legislation does not represent responsible government, nor does it serve the best interest of the American people or the people of Hawaii.”

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One Response to “Lingle, Akaka comment on health care reform”

  1. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I do agree that change was needed for health care, however we won’t know for years how the reform will play out with insurance companies and joe public.


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