Letters to the Editor

Idea for solving national health care dilemma

The Maui News has been very receptive to contributions from me and others regarding ensuring the quality and provision of the health care on Maui. I have an idea for solving the national health care dilemma, but not on how to access the national media in order to carry my idea forward. Hence, I go to our Maui News again.

Current and newly proposed methods for providing health care for all Americans at reasonable costs fall far short of that goal. The main problems are how to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions and how to fund the system. The underlying problem, many will put off purchasing coverage until a condition occurs.

My solution is to make coverage for pre-existing conditions time-limited, like for one year. This would encourage the purchase of coverage before the year is up in order to avoid having no coverage afterward, which would provide the large numbers needed to fund the system, make rates low and ensure individuals against future medical problems, the way insurance should work.

The inevitable number who do not join the system during that year would still not be left without care. When sick or hurt, they could use the present safeguard of guaranteed access to hospital emergency departments, with salaried staff and on-call care givers. Those would then be reimbursed directly by the government, bypassing the much more expensive “middle men” of the insurance companies.

Since my name is Lavenson, and we could call it “Lav Care.”

George S. Lavenson, M.D.



Week dedicated to thank health care workers

May 7-13 is National Hospital Week — a week dedicated to showing thanks and appreciation for health care professionals nationwide.

This year’s theme — “The Healing Heart of Healthcare” — describes perfectly the team we have here in Maui County — caring from the heart every day of every year.

Our Maui region ohana (Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, Lanai Community Hospital and Maui Memorial Medical Center Outpatient Clinic) is the heart and soul of health care on Maui and we are grateful for everything they do.

From providing medical care in our facilities to running vital programs in our community, they are committed to supporting the health and well-being of our friends, family and neighbors in and around Maui County.

Please join us in thanking the many people who care for you and your family. A warm smile and simple “thank you” will go a long way.

Dr. Barry Shitamoto

CEO, Maui Region

Hawaii Health Systems Corp.


Mahalo for saving Hawaii’s reef fish

As a local girl, born and raised in Hawaii from a family that has been here for generations, I want to thank our entire delegation for supporting SB 1240. This bill reflects a reasoned compromise that allows the existing commercial aquarium businesses to slowly phase down and no need fish capture licenses to be granted, saving 1 million to 5 million fish each year.

Mahalo to our community for your support of our precious reefs. Remember, our Hawaiian ancestors, as well as other nationalities here, only took what they needed to sustain themselves, but always made sure they were never depleted.

Most of our reef fish are taken from us by Mainland companies for profit. Please ask Gov. David Ige (he has the final vote, and I know he wants to do what’s right, so all our keiki will get to see these beautiful fish for generations) to sign SB 1240 as soon as possible.

You can also ask him to schedule a bill-signing ceremony to showcase the state’s commitment to protecting wildlife, coral reefs and marine resources. Go to governor.hawaii.gov, or call 586-0034.

Let’s protect our reef fish and our reefs to help them recover from climate change induced bleaching. We can have the vibrant alive reefs return, just like when I was a girl. Without our fish here in Hawaii, no food, no tourism, no hope.

Leilani Datta


* The Maui News welcomes letters on subjects of general interest. Letters must not exceed 250 words, and all letters are subject to editing. Handwritten letters are not accepted. Writers are limited to two published letters per month. No poetry. Letters may be submitted via the Virtual Newsroom on The Maui News website (www.mauinews.com), or via email (opinions@mauinews.com). Letters must include the writer’s name, community and a telephone number where the writer can be reached.