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Help COFA migrants until feds step up


POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Apr 07, 2014

~~<p>A split ruling by an appeals panel that allows the state of Hawaii to reduce health benefits for migrants from Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands is not the last word on this subject. In the interest of public health, and despite its preliminary legal victory, the state government should continue to extend full coverage as the case proceeds. Gov. Neil Abercrombie's administration must simultaneously engage Hawaii's congressional delegation to solve this problem at the federal level, where the financial responsibility rests.</p>
<p>A three-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals &mdash; with one judge dissenting &mdash; ruled in favor of the state last week, vacating a District Court injunction that had prevented the state from reducing health coverage. That injunction was first granted in 2009 in a class-action lawsuit on behalf of people living in Hawaii under a Compact of Free Association with the U.S., which conducted dozens of nuclear weapons tests in the Marshall Islands through the late 1950s and maintains exclusive military rights over more than 2 million square miles of ocean encompassing the three island nations.</p>
~~

A split ruling by an appeals panel that allows the state of Hawaii to reduce health benefits for migrants from Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands is not the last word on this subject. In the interest of public health, and despite its preliminary legal victory, the state government should continue to extend full coverage as the case proceeds. Gov. Neil Abercrombie's administration must simultaneously engage Hawaii's congressional delegation to solve this problem at the federal level, where the financial responsibility rests.

A three-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — with one judge dissenting — ruled in favor of the state last week, vacating a District Court injunction that had prevented the state from reducing health coverage. That injunction was first granted in 2009 in a class-action lawsuit on behalf of people living in Hawaii under a Compact of Free Association with the U.S., which conducted dozens of nuclear weapons tests in the Marshall Islands through the late 1950s and maintains exclusive military rights over more than 2 million square miles of ocean encompassing the three island nations. Login for more...



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