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Summer 2005

Fall 2005

President's Message - Pleased to Be President of a PIG (Sue Irvine)
League Tribute to Dr. Robert Watada (Mary Anne Raywid)
Post Script to Bob Watada's May 21 Convention Speech (Jaurene Judy)
Legislative Report (Jean Aoki)
Progress on Clean Elections (Laure Dillon)
Silver Legislature (Grace Furukawa)
Gambling Front (Grace Furukawa)
Latest Assault on Press Freedom: Assassination of Samir Kassir (Beth Ann Kozlovich)
Highlights (and an Update) from Annual Reports
Case for a Single-Payer Health System (Jean Aoki)

The Case for a Single-Payer Health System

Congressman Jim McDermott, (D) of Washington State, a physician and national president of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), addressed a large audience here on June 4 about his bill, the American Health Security Act, HR 1200, which establishes a single-payer system that is federally financed, administered at the state and local level, and privately delivered. (National League has a position advocating a single-payer health system, but I do not know their position on this particular bill.) HR 1200 and other bills to a similar effect are not being addressed by Congress.

Rep. McDermott said that only Minnesota has a better health care system than Hawaii. 16% of residents nationwide are without health care versus 9% for Hawaii. Health care costs are the number one cause for bankruptcy in the United States. President Bush's insistence that malpractice suits are the chief cause of spiraling health care cost is simply not true according to Rep. McDermott.

Joining Rep. McDermott on the speakers' platform were Representative Dennis Arakaki, and Ah Quon McElrath, both passionate advocates for affordable health care for all. Ah Quon's mastery of historical facts and details of social problems and issues is unmatched, and Representative Arakaki made a case for HB 1304 which is awaiting the governor's signature. It sets up a task force to look into health care for all in Hawaii.

Participants at the June 4 meeting sponsored by the local ADA, were given copies of an article written by Rep. McDermott which had appeared in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, in March, 1994 entitled "Caring for the Uninsured and Underinsured, Evaluating Health System Reform: The Case for a Single-Payer Approach" if anyone would like a copy of this report, email or call the office. (Incidentally, Mrs. McDermott is a Leaguer.)

Jean Aoki

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