Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Friday, November 13, 2009

EUTF's cost cuts sap health policy

I am one of the many state workers affected by the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) change in prescription drug coverage. Kevin Glick is correct that the “;cost-cutting measure”; has resulted in higher costs for many of us (”;Switch to generic drugs a blow to patients,”; Star-Bulletin, Island Commentary, Nov. 11).

If my husband and I want to keep taking Lipitor—which has proved to be effective in treating our high cholesterol—we must now pay $152 per month for that drug. To avoid these high costs, EUTF suggests that our doctor prescribe Simvastatin, the generic form of Zocor. Lipitor has no generic equivalent.

Although switching to a generic drug seems sensible (though we must get it via mail from a Florida source), forcing state workers to change to a new drug is not a reasonable or health-conscious policy.

Suzanne Kosanke


Health proposal used faulty math

This is in response to the letter by Dale Hammond (”;Give folks cash for health care,”; Star-Bulletin, Letters, Nov. 12). Your proposal of giving each of the 304 million citizens of the United States $10,000 per year to purchase their own health care, equating to a $30.4 billion health care plan, seems like an obvious solution to the nation's health care woes in these times of economic uncertainty. If it weren't for the epic failure of calculation, I would be all for it.

As the mathematical operation known as multipli-cation will confirm, 304 million (people) times $10,000 equals $3.04 trillion, not $30.4 billion. This is more than double the $1.2 billion annual cost proposed under the current health bill. Now, if you are committed to the figure of $30.4 billion, the resultant allotment per citizen would be $100 dollars — not too many health care plans are available at that rate.

Andrew Keane


Maui sugar needs water to survive

This is not the same world anymore. The world we knew just one year ago is gone. We can't change the past, but what we can do is focus on finding new ways to better prepare for our future and strengthen what we have now. On Maui, decisions are being considered that could deprive Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. and our residents of a most basic need: water.

HC&S, which runs Hawaii's last sugar cane plantation, needs water to survive. We, the people of Maui, need water for our social and economic growth. Ignoring our needs and denying the gravity of the current economic crisis, which will impact us for generations to come, is irresponsible and unacceptable.

Mark Rapozo


Slow down when on 'road of death'

Tim Haverly complains that Kaukonahua Road leading to Waialua is a “;road of death”; (”;Dangerous road needs fixing,”; Star-Bulletin, Letters, Nov. 3), and wants city officials and the North Shore Neighborhood Board to do something about it.

The board is acutely aware of the deadly road. Several years ago, the city, at the request of the board, constructed numerous safety measures: guard rails, cobble warning devices on roadways, blinking warning lights, street lights, double lines/no passing zone throughout, and at least 20 no-passing and 35-mph speed limit signs on both sides of the road. The police also responded by placing speeding meters and patrols on the road. The city and the board can do only so much. The “;road of death”; is caused by driver apathy and speeding. Drivers need to slow down.

Jake Ng

Member, North Shore Neighborhood Board

Crosswalks do not guarantee safety

Please! Everyone: The signals on King and Beretania streets are set so that traffic flows in waves. Those painted lines of the crosswalks do not protect you. You must wait for a break in traffic (which will occur) and not step out and expect six lanes of traffic to see you and screech to a halt. Even if they do, it is very dangerous and not fair to all the drivers. And, if you are hit, it would be a terrible thing for you and the driver. Be smart and safe, alive and well.

Nancy Bey Little





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