HMSA didn't mention its co-pay increase
As a small business owner and Hawaii Medical Service Association plan subscriber, I have to note that in addition to the 6.6 percent increase HMSA announced (Star-Bulletin, May 17
) that the amount of co-payments for medication will also increase (by my calculations, approximately 20 percent). That's a hidden increase not mentioned in the coverage of HMSA's announced rate hikes.
Stephen E. Goldsmith
Lawmakers hurt Hawaii health care
Recent efforts this session at the Legislature taught us something. Not merely anti-doctor, Hawaii is anti-patient. This hopeless realization is driving more and more health care professionals from this state. Thursday's headlines about increased health care premiums due to rising costs to insurers prompt yet another futile letter to the editor.
With Kahuku Hospital bankrupt, Hawaii Medical Center struggling and Wahiawa General closing its birth unit, all due to unreimbursed and under-reimbursed care, how can anyone believe it is a good idea to make health care pay for rail?
Yet House leadership gutted a bill that would have left $7 million a year in patients' pockets to pay their medical bills (since most local carriers do not cover the general excise tax as a plan benefit). During the next 15 years, the projected collection on medical services for the rail tax is $105 million.
Already one of only a few states to tax medical services, Hawaii stands alone in making sick people pay for transportation. It's time to vote out the ones who don't care. Your life may depend on it.
Board member, Hawaii Society of Clinical Oncology
Muslim-U.S. animosity goes back a ways
When trying to negotiate peace with Muslim nations that were using terrorist tactics to intimidate the United States, American diplomats reported that the Muslim ambassador stated "that it (their war on the United States) was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Moslem who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise."
The American diplomats where Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams; time, 1786. It took the U.S. Marines in Tripoli to halt this radical Muslim terrorism.
Abortion isn't sole reason for violence
In his April 25 column, Cal Thomas stated that he is not surprised by the violence at Virginia Tech in a culture that glorifies abortion.
Let us look at some other violence by Americans that could be a contributing factor. Africans were brought to America in chains and enslaved. Their descendants were lynched for wanting their human and civil rights. American Indians were slaughtered and put on the death march (Trail of Tears). American Indian women and children were murdered. Americans fought each other in the Civil War. Americans killed Filipinos over 10 years old after the Balangiga massacre. Americans overthrew the kingdom of Hawaii. Americans used atom bombs in Japan, killing 125,000 people in two days. Americans placed Americans of Japanese ancestry in concentration camps. Americans invaded Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia and Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children. None of those countries did any harm to the United States.
The history of violence by Americans is long and it seems there is no end to it in this supposedly Christian country.
Alfonso L. Largo
Crime, homeless keep tourists away
State tourism officials are worried that the wedding market will continue its decline. Why is anyone surprised? My family in was in Lahaina, Maui, over Easter break and the town was virtually empty. Do you think travelers don't read the Hawaii newspapers? Do you think honest travel agents don't warn their clients about what to expect?
Until Hawaii starts doing something about the rising crime rate (like maybe paying their police a living wage) and doing something about the homeless problem (like stop selling its soul to developers so citizens can once again find affordable housing), you can expect tourism to continue to decline. Murders, auto burglaries, sexual assaults and beaches filled with vagrants don't lend themselves to a positive travel destination.
San Diego, Calif.