Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

HMSA views UH
donation as investment

Question: How come I read one day that HMSA is donating $1 million to the University of Hawaii medical school, then the next day, I read they want to raise their rates. What's going on?

Answer: The Hawaii Medical Service Association considers the $1 million donation to set up an HMSA Chair for Health Care Services Quality Research an "investment" in the community to improve health care.

The donation, to be financed over four years, would "not be very costly" when broken down into costs for individual members, said Cliff Cisco, senior vice president for HMSA.

It has "been in the works for a long time," he said. "We believe it is a good investment for the future of health care in Hawaii. If the quality of health care can be improved, it's been demonstrated that good-quality medicine is cost-effective medicine."

That said, HMSA will be filing for community rate adjustments with the state insurance commissioner -- under a new law that took effect Jan. 1 -- within the next month in order to keep up with the continuing rise in the costs of health care, Cisco said.

"All of us together are using more services than we used in the past," he said. "The rates are adjusted based on the use of medical benefits by our members."

Q: I have an old Hawaiian flag which was given to my husband by John Carey Lane, former territorial senator and mayor of Honolulu from 1915 to 1917. I would like to give the flag to a relative of his or of his brother, Lot C. Lane. Can you help?

A: Readers, if any of you know or are related to the Lane family, please call Lila Chrystal at 946-0149.

Chrystal says John Carey Lane was a good friend of her late husband, Jimmy, writing letters to him when the latter was in college in 1947 and bestowing him with his own Hawaiian name -- Awena-ika-lani-keahi-o-ka-lua-o-Pele ("the glow to heaven of the fire in the pit of Pele").

But Chrystal doesn't really know much about the flag or why Lane gave it to her husband.

She said she took the flag to the state Archives but was told they could not authenticate it. However, "the condition of the flag appears to have a lot of history," she said.

John, Lot and another brother, James (three of 12 children born of an Irish father and Hawaiian mother), were members of Queen Liliuokalani's personal guard at Iolani Palace.

They were avowed Royalists, and John Lane "was at her side when they usurped control and dethroned her in 1893, and he was among those who took part in the counterrevolution in 1895 with the hope of restoring her throne and native Hawaiian rule," wrote Kathleen Dickensen Mellen in an 1954 Advertiser article that Crystal provided.

Lot Lane, who was given his name by King Kamehameha V, whose name was Lot, joined Robert Wilcox in leading the failed attempt to restore the monarchy.

"None of the Lanes ever gained wealth, and all take pride in the fact that their father (William) refused a vast tract of royal land offered by Kamehameha V because it contained many kuleanas belonging to poor Hawaiians," Mellen wrote.


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