Mixed reaction in Hawaii to passing of health care bill - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mixed reaction in Hawaii to passing of health care bill

By Oscar Valenzuela - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the health care reform passed through legislation, some local politicians celebrated the landmark bill.

"With this bill, we're going to start getting our money's worth for our healthcare dollar," said Hawaii representative Mazie Hirono (D).

But members of the GOP, including state senator Sam Slom, say the bill was pushed through using questionable tactics, which will cost all Americans heavily.

"They made every possible deal, every pay off that they could have, so at this point, people are going to have to settle back, find out what the true costs are, find out that there are going to be losses in the medicare, find out that this is not doctor or physician-friendly and that in the end we've made a grave mistake," Slom said.

Hirono voted for the bill, supporting the president's goal of making health care a system that works for the people.

"It really goes a long way toward making health care more affordable for middle class families and to make the insurance companies more accountable for what they're doing," Hirono said.

Slom cited Hawaii's pre-paid health care act as a local version of universal health care that never quite lived up to its claims.

"Hawaii's had the pre-paid healthcare act since 1974 and I was around when it was being debated. It was one of those things where a lot of promises were made and a lot of those promises were not kept," Slom said.

Slom questioned the calculated costs provided to the congressional budget office and thinks we're going to see the ill effects in the coming years.

"No state, no country has ever gotten themselves out of a serious recession or depression by debt and by increased taxation," he said.

Congresswoman Hirono states the long overdue wait for a change in our health care system will outweigh the overall costs.

"I'm glad to have been here to vote for this bill because practically every modern president since before Franklin Delanore Roosevelt, whether the President was Republican or Democrat, has wanted to reform our health care system," she said.

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