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Update on HHSC House Bill 1075 — Members Testify at Hearing, Decision Making Tomorrow

March 02, 2015

As you are aware, on Friday, February 27, the House Committee on Finance heard H.B. 1075, H.D. 2, which privatizes the Maui Region of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, including Maui Memorial Hospital, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital.
During the hearing, HGEA Legislative Officer Michele Kurihara-Klein testified that the content of H.B. 1075 creates an unprecedented and excessively favorable acquisition for a single beneficiary — the private operator. She further stated that the state will foot the bill while the private operator assumes no risks, creating a win-win for the operator at the expense of the state’s finances and its employees. HGEA continues to urge legislators to complete due diligence by conducting an independent financial and management audit. To see HGEA’s testimony in opposition to H.B. 1075, click here.
In addition, HGEA members Nadine Luke Cho (Unit 9), Mary Wagner (Unit 13), Arvid Youngquist (Unit 3) and John Witeck (retiree) took personal time to testify in opposition to privatizing the Maui Region. Collectively, they presented over 2,000 signatures in opposition to H.B. 1075.
To view Nadine Cho’s testimony, click here.
To view Mary Wagner’s testimony, click here.
To view John Witeck’s testimony, click here.

During the two-and-a-half hour hearing, many of the Committee members raised questions about the details of the legislation. Among them, Representative Richard Onishi (District 3 – Hilo, Volcano) asked HHSC Executives Dr. Linda Rosen and Wesley Lo a variety of questions that they were unable to definitively answer. During questioning, Lo testified that the HHSC does not have a specific timetable, approval process, nor detailed answers at this time.
The Committee on Finance is scheduled to do decision making on this bill on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. We will continue to keep you updated on this important issue.

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