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Monday, August 17, 2009
August 17, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:36 AM :: 8666 Views

Fukino nails SB: ObamaCare pay cuts for MDs, $563B Medicare cuts

As the senior public health official in the state of Hawaii, I must take exception to your editorial last week about budget cuts in Medicare ("End Medicare Myths," Star-Bulletin, Aug. 12). You incorrectly accused Gov. Linda Lingle of making "unfounded allegations."

The governor pointed out that the plans pending in Washington, D.C., would result in "hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to spending on Medicare." Your own editorial reaffirms this by stating that the bills pending in Congress would "trim Medicare's anticipated growth over the next ten years by $563 billion."

Your editorial said that federal health care legislation will "affect providers, not beneficiaries." Reducing payments to providers can have a substantial effect on beneficiaries, especially when insufficient revenues result in the closing or out-of-state relocation of a medical practice.

RELATED: MDs pay to be cut: Star-Bulletin attacks Lingle, spreads Obamacare myths

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Inmates prefer Kentucky, some say

"The majority want to remain," said Public Safety Deputy Director Tommy Johnson, who was part of a team sent to Kentucky to investigate the rape claims.

When he visited Otter Creek Correctional Complex in Wheelwright, Ky., the week of July 5, many of the 22 Hawaii inmates who asked to speak to him individually, as well as those he spoke to in groups, asked whether they could stay.

Also, the Star-Bulletin received letters and a petition, purportedly signed by 109 of 168 Hawaii inmates at Otter Creek, saying they do not want to be transferred to a Hawaii prison.

(Would YOU want to be in a prison run by a Hawaii government employees' union?)

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State's math scores still lag

But Hawaii DoE is tops in excuses.

"Many high schools have already eliminated Pre-Algebra from their course offerings, meaning students are expected to have taken the class in middle school, something that doesn't always occur."

Geeee.  Maybe the DoE should adopt a "curriculum"?   Or better yet, we should adopt vouchers, dump the DoE and put Hawaii's elite private schools to work for everybody.

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DLNR's 'Plan B' needed to keep up facilities

Plan B would promote volunteerism, from basic cleanups to ambitious efforts like rebuilding of Polihale State Park bridge.

To encourage park use — and raise more revenues — DLNR wants to develop one-stop permit shopping and billing, with a single Web site that accepts credit cards. This basic improvement is long overdue.

So are DLNR's plans to adopt model repair and maintenance standards, and software to manage its work more efficiently.

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UPW 'Bumping' plans under way

More than 100 UPW members who received layoff notices attended the union's meeting on Friday, the first for potentially laid off employees on Oahu since the notices went out. UPW also held meetings for those on the layoff list on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.

(Should've taken those furlough days.)

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Boards overseeing water, tourism and rural hospitals spent $1 million since 2005

About $381,000 was spent by the Honolulu Board of Water Supply. Another $355,000 was spent on an outside lobbying firm hired by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, which runs the state's rural hospitals, spent more than $254,000 lobbying the Legislature through 2008, according to state and city lobbying disclosures.

HHSC doesn't have much to show for its lobbying expenses... Hawaii Hospitals: Not Quite Catching Up To Africa

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Kaawa Elementary School $2.3M repairs could stave off closing--or not

"The flooding issue is being mitigated, and the waste-water treatment system is being mitigated."

Those issues, however, were not the only cited as reasons to close the rural school that opened in 1904 and has 141 students this year. Administrators are also concerned it is in a tsunami inundation zone and that only one of its buildings is a permanent structure. The rest are portable classrooms and trailers.

(So why is the DoE spending $2.3 M to fix a school slated for closure?  Who is the contractor?)

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SB: Happy you live Hawaii, despite shortcomings

Regarded in some circles as "tax hell," bad for business, priced out of affordability and jarred by a hurricane every decade or so, people who live in Hawaii know better. Part of the unflattering reputation may be deserved, but Hawaii residents are the happiest in the country, according to an index based on interviews conducted in the first six months of this year by Gallup-Healthways Well-Being....

When chief executive officers from across the country responded to a poll taken earlier this year, they ranked Hawaii last in the quality of its work force. The Hawaii work force's opinion of its bosses placed 50th in last year's Gallup-Healthways poll, replaced at the very bottom this year by Delaware.


"Psychological problems ...turn into political problems: private disorder reflects more directly than before the disorder of the whole, and the cure of personal disorder depends more directly than before on the cure of the general disorder."  Herbert Marcuse

And in the post-Marcusian State of Hawaii?  Feel-good psychological "solutions" turn into political problems?

The Age of Aquarius is enshrined in a mural at the Big Square Building.  Do the math.... 

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