Dr. Beach needs to do more research
Fleming and Hamoa on Maui might be among the top 10 beaches in the United States, but Dr. Beach missed the best beach in Hawaii (Star-Bulletin, May 25
Kalihiwai on the island of Kauai is picture-postcard perfect: white sand, tall cliffs, a rivermouth and unspoiled by development. It's the kind of place people imagine when they close their eyes and think of paradise.
With the war, we dig our own graves
Where do we stand in the continuing conflict in Iraq? Are we winning the global war on terrorism that our government started? Have we installed the peace and harmony as President Bush has preached?
Plainly speaking, we started the war. The president sent our troops into harm's way and put their lives at stake. At this point, we are digging our own graves. Our public servants have made the biggest mistake leading us into this predicament, but because of our pride, we are unable to turn around and give up.
There is arrogance in our government, thinking that we can change the world. We already have wasted billions of dollars for this war, but the road to success remains uncertain.
Mr. President, stop this war.
Instead of throwing rocks, throw Iraqis bread.
Felino B. Damo
Orthopedic surgeons driven out of Hawaii
I read with both interest and dismay Helen Altonn's article headlined "Doctors leaving Hawaii fed up with red tape" (Star-Bulletin, May 16
). I applaud your coverage of this crisis.
It's a shame to lose a fine orthopedic surgeon as Dr. Terry Smith due to the reimbursement/insurance crisis here in Hawaii. However, I'm afraid this is just the leading edge of the coming crisis.
Like our patients, we have to purchase health insurance for ourselves and our families (as well as our employees), and these premiums have steadily risen year after year.
During the past 20 years, we orthopedic surgeons have seen our reimbursement for surgery and patient care cut by 83 percent -- a number documented by the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons. Meanwhile, the costs of doing business here in Hawaii have risen by an average of 3 percent each year.
As a result, just to stay in business and provide orthopedic care to the Hawaii community, we have had to double the number of patients seen each day, and often increase our work load to 80 hours per week. Patients often have to wait several weeks just to get an appointment, and spend less face-to-face time with us during their office visits.
We are trained from medical school to be, first and foremost, patient advocates, and that is what we are. Our concern is and always has been the delivery of quality and timely health care.
The system is out of control. We are losing the vital doctor-patient relationship. The exodus of the best physicians and specialists from the state already has begun.
I would strongly urge your readers to contact their legislators to restore the "health" to our health care system before it's too late.
Our primary goal, as doctors, is the welfare of our patients. Believe it!
Thomas J. Kane, III, M.D.
Akaka 'educated' an empty chamber
When Senator Akaka announced he was going to "educate" his colleagues, and then we saw video of him speaking from the Senate podium, I laughed out loud. Anyone who has visited the Senate or House chamber when they are in session knows that, except for a clerk or two and the speaker at the podium, the chamber is empty. Who is Akaka "educating," 100 empty chairs? Where is everybody?
My guess is they are behind closed doors meeting with Jack Abramoff and the other thousands of lobbyists in Washington, taking their money and moving it into their re-election campaign accounts, and then agreeing on where their votes will go.
Akaka looks good, making the voters think he is actually representing his constituents, but it's a sham.
Big Oil seems to own our local politicians
William Georgi's letter to the editor, "No asphalt? Let's vote the bums out!" (Star-Bulletin, May 22
) should be a wake-up call.
Recent articles regarding Tesoro's gasoline rules waiver reveals our government's willingness to bend over backwards for Big Oil at the expense of us consumers. Vote them all out and start over!
Iolani students show nation their smarts
Wow! Twice Iolani School bowls them over at the National Economics Challenge Championship ("The Buzz," Star-Bulletin, May 23
). At Roosevelt High School in the early 50s we did not think much about economics, so when a high school from Hawaii is the nation's best, Wow!
Their teacher and coach, Dick Rankin, should be real proud of his team and his accomplishment.
I bet there are many young families asking the question, "How do I get Kimo and Lehua into Iolani?"
Waikiki Beach Activities