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Hawaii political reaction to decision splits along party lines

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 11:57 a.m. HST, Jun 28, 2012

Hawaii political reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision on President Barack Obama’s health care law split down party lines.

Hawaii’s four Democratic members of Congress applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision upholding the health care law. But a Republican candidate for Congress called the decision “a disappointment.”

U.S. Sen Daniel Inouye said: “We in the Congress understand this law is not perfect but it can and will be improved, over time, in the same fashion that changes and improvements have been incorporated over the past 46 years to the Medicare program.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka said today’s ruling is “a big step” in ensuring quality health care for all, adding that “it’s time to tackle other urgent issues.”

Akaka cited the need to create jobs, taking care of veterans, improving education, defending the environment as pressing priorities of the country.

“As we discuss today’s news, we cannot forget about the minority populations in our nation that continue to face serious health disparities, including higher rates of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease and lack of access to culturally competent health care services,” Akaka added.

Republican Congressional candidate Charles Djou said: “This bureaucrat-focused, DC-centered approach based on bigger government is not what is right for Hawaii, or the nation. In addition to cutting Medicare, raising taxes and stifling economic growth with paralyzing uncertainty, the healthcare law does not address the real issue in health insurance: rising costs.”

His likely opponent in the general election, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, said: “To date, the Affordable Care Act has improved the lives of many in our community. In Hawaii alone, about 6,000 young adults under the age of 26 have gotten coverage under their family’s plan. More than three million young adults nationwide enjoy that coverage under the law. More than 24,000 Hawaii residents receiving Medicare got a $250 rebate to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole in 2010 – and the law will close the donut hole by 2020.”

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono said the Supreme Court’s “ruling means that Americans can now count on secure and stable insurance coverage. If you have a pre-existing condition, you’ll be able to get health care; if you become seriously ill, there will be no annual limits on your care; if you’re a woman you won’t be charged higher premiums; and if you don’t have coverage, you will be able to buy affordable coverage.”

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ISCREAM wrote:
Lied to again by our government...no wonder people are so cynical. President Obama, Pelosi and Reid, who jammed this down our throats, repeatedly said that the health care reform was not a tax. Well, guess what, the supreme court says that the way the bill is written that it is a tax. It could be one of the largest tax increases on the middle class in our life time. Further, the potential benefit for Hawaii residents is minimal...but like rail we will pay and pay and pay. Our government is obsessed with "behavior modification through taxation". We will see a sugar tax, a carbon tax and my expectation a life insurance tax where everyone will have to purchase life and long term care insurance. Welcome to the European states of America.
on June 28,2012 | 01:40PM
Senior_Researcher wrote:
Pretty much staright from the campaign script by all parties. Still, I give no credence to Charles Djou's comments; the Republicans did nothing -- absoultely nothing -- to extend health care coverage to more/most of the population when they controlled Congress from 2000-2006. OK, they proposed tort reform but even the best evidence from the health care providers themselves and the insurance industry showed that tort damage awards were a minor contributor to health care costs. No, the GOP sees health care, even basic health care, as a commodity to be marketed like cars and jewelry. If you can't afford it, tough, because you can't afford to be born -- or to continue living.
on June 28,2012 | 01:47PM
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