President's Message (Evelyn Bender)
Take Back the System
Year End Reports
Programs for 1991-1992
Bylaw Change Adopted
New State Directors Listed
Look at Leasehold (Jim Koshi)
Health Care Study Commences
Thank you all for the trust you have placed in me by electing me president of the LWVHI. With the help of all of you, we can look forward to having a good two years. When asked to do things we must remember Edmund Burke's words, "Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little."
The 1991 State Convention was a great success. Irene Coogan and Jerry Hess did an outstanding job in arranging the physical setup and the program. Many thanks to both.
Not only did we kickoff the national health care study and adopt two new state studies, the delegates had an opportunity to air their views, to ask questions, and hopefully, to get answers on many subjects. In addition, a committee was established to explore the financial picture of the state and local leagues as well as looking at other common interests.
On Saturday evening the dinner speakers, former Massachusetts Governor and Presidential Nominee Michael Dukakis and DOH Director John Lewin, M.D., talked about financing and access to health care in the U.S. and Hawaii. They not only elaborated on what they would like to see in the future but proposed how some of it might be accomplished. These will all be explored more closely as the study proceeds.
The diversified panel on Sunday morning consisted of Ah Quon McElrath, AFL-CIO; Lorraine Carlson, UH School of Nursing, Marvin Hall, Hawaii Medical Services Association; Richard Meiers, Health Care Association; and John McDonnell, M.D., Hawaii Medical Association.
The League's Health Care Chairman and member of the Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel on Health Care, Earl Fedje, was the Moderator. This discussion was very lively and sparked many questions from the delegates. Greater detail on these speeches appear elsewhere in this issue and it may be possible for local Leagues to obtain a videotape of them for their meetings.
It is obvious there are as many differing opinions on what needs to be done to provide greater access to health care at reasonable costs as there are ways to accomplish them. Hawaii is at the forefront in providing a wide access to health care and at a lower cost than on the mainland, although there is still room for improvement. During the next few months we will be attempting to reach consensus on the Phase 1 questions sent from LWVUS and possibly some formulated by the State Committee for Hawaii.
We must be sure that whatever consensus we reach on the national level does not force Hawaii to retreat from its present position or dilute its programs. Hawaii must at least be able to maintain what it now has in the access and financing of health care for its citizens and be allowed to improve it if the citizenry wishes.
The two new state studies adopted were: (1) Leasehold Reform as Related to Condominiums and Cooperatives and (2) Home Rule in Hawaii.
Because the members are well acquainted with the Leasehold topic and there is a lot of information readily available, we hope to be able to study and present both sides of this issue in a dear and unemotional manner and reach consensus in the spring. Since it will take more time to accumulate the material on Home Rule and present it to the members, this study is expected to last two years.
League members already have varying viewpoints and opinions on all three of these topics. The coming year should be most interesting and there is a place for everyone to take part and contribute. Discussions may be come heated but please bear in mind the following: