Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Outsourcing causes chaos

Ever since the state of Hawaii outsourced its Medicaid services for the indigent population to WellCare (dba Ohana) and United Health Care (dba Evercare), there has been nothing but chaos. Many specialists will not see these patients, which makes it problematic for primary physicians like me to get an opinion from a specialist, especially on neighbor islands where specialists are scarce.

As if this were not enough, starting this year, I am not being reimbursed for administering influenza vaccinations or for the cost of the vaccine itself. Consequently, I have had to stop administering influenza vaccinations to my patients with HMSA Quest, Ohana and Evercare. This is a vulnerable population who needs it most.

I hope the state Department of Health awakens from its slumber soon and rectifies this before the flu season begins in earnest.

Pradeepta Chowdhury, M.D.



Higher-ups need to feel pain, too

State and county workers enjoy paid holidays: Presidents Day, Good Friday, Fourth of July, etc. Since we already have those days off, why not make them unpaid furlough days? Since almost everyone already celebrates these days off from work, the child care issue would be resolved.

Also, if all state and county workers were treated equitably — i.e.. state executives, administrators and adminions get to feel the pain, too — maybe some of us foot soldiers wouldn't be so ticked off about shouldering almost the entire burden of the state's deficits.

Don't misunderstand, I think this proposal stinks. Paid holidays are a hard-won privilege for working folk. But this could be union members' short-term effort to help out.

This suggestion is one community college instructor's “;last, best, final offer”; to people who are paid a hell of a lot (the vice president of the UH community colleges makes more than three times more than I do) but haven't been able to think of anything better than “;let them eat cake.”;

Leslie Lyum



Watada story was ideally positioned

What a prosaic piece of journalism, intentional or otherwise. A disgraced Ehren Watada on the front page directly over an article entitled “;Taking Out The Trash.”; I couldn't have said it better myself.

Richard Rees



Watada followed his conscience

Congratulations to Ehren Watada for standing up for what he thought was right. It takes a type of courage that few know to go against the odds and stand up for what is right. Rather than be a pawn in an illegal war, like so many others, Watada fought the good fight and ultimately won.

T. Kroll

Denver, Colo.


Hateful discourse could set us back

I am writing to encourage your newspaper to contribute to the American public's respectful discourse on the issues facing our nation today. America's free speech combined with the “;melting pot”; of different cultures is what makes our nation so great.

Glenn Beck's behavior in the last few months has unfortunately been extremely hateful. I am afraid that his irresponsible race-baiting and outright lies to the American public will lead to violence that could set this wonderful country back decades.

Jane Sipavichs





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