Saturday, Oct. 01, 2022 |
Share this story
Ige’s veto of HB1980
was the right move
Bravo Gov. Ige, who vetoed House Bill 1980, a bill that would put into law additional criteria before Hawaii insurance providers could reimburse patients who receive telephonic mental health care. These criteria are written with the wallet of the insurance company in mind.
This bill would classify telephonic health as something separate from telehealth. Who would a decision like that favor, the party seeking health care or the one responsible to insure said health care?
One requirement of HB1980 would be that the patient would have to have seen their health care doctor in person before qualifying for reimbursement for additional telephonic mental health treatment.
Many families in rural areas (Ocean View is a great example) struggle at times just to get the wage earners of the family to work due to long commutes from down south or far north. Asking them to make time to drive a family member to a doctor’s office when the treatment could be done through a call is absurd. It’s a requirement that in no way benefits a mental health patient.
Ige, through his veto of HB1980, demonstrated the Hawaiian tradition of ho’oponopono — to make right. As governor of Hawaii, he has demonstrated that Hawaii’s rural residents must be made a priority, not an afterthought after addressing the urban areas of the state. That is us, and we have a right to access telehealth mental services here in West Hawaii.
Most significantly, our kupuna on the Big Island, from Nanawale to Napoopoo grew up without the technology required to qualify for full reimbursement for mental health services should this bill pass. These kupuna rely on decisions just like this, decisions that can either broaden or restrict the scope of access to mental health. Patient choice matters. And so does our vote. Vote people’s health over insurance companies wallets.
Ka‘u development will substantially impact shoreline, surrounding areas
I am one of the co-owners of Punalu’u beachfront kuleana property that’s been in my ohana for generations. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach must be preserved in a manner to which it was originally created. I am soundly opposed to the development proposal presented by developer Xiaoyuan Liu.
The proposed development is not conducive to the prosperity and preservation of our pristine Punalu’u beach, it’s historical landmarks and protection of critical habitats for endangered, indigenous species such as our green sea and hawksbill turtles. Additionally, preserve the historical sites and ancient burial grounds and caves that exist in Punalu’u. It is imperative to preserve native cultural practices such as hunting and gathering.
Throughout my ohana’s lifetime we have observed the continued erosion of the shoreline. For 170 years we have witnessed the continued destruction of the shoreline and ocean due to the impact of modernization and tourism. We must not let this continue. Stopping Xiaoyuan Liu’s development of our beach and surrounding areas will promote respect to the physical beach and ocean.
The proposed development plans will substantially impact the shoreline and surrounding areas that include the renowned fresh water ponds, heiau and archaeological sites. Let’s pursue a more enlightened path that balances economic benefits with protection of our precious endangered natural resources and continue our peaceful and rural lifestyle in Ka’u.
Elsa Kalani Dedman
Tell us about it
Do you have a story idea or news tip? Is there a community problem that has not been addressed? Do you know someone unique, whose story should be shared and enjoyed with the rest of the community? We want to know. Email the West Hawaii Today newsroom at firstname.lastname@example.org and share the information with our readers.
Letters to the editor should be 300 words or less. Submit online at https://www.westhawaiitoday.com/letter-to-the-editor/ or address letters to:
Editor| West Hawaii Today
PO Box 789 | Kailua-Kona, HI 96745