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Free market for medical or government-run?

I have not lived on the west side since the 80s and a lot has changed there.

One thing that has not changed is the availability of medical services. This is due in a large part to a statewide board that determines whether private entities can build medical facilities.

The board seems to feel a centralized, monopolistic, model is best for the state.

Members of the board mention that westside citizens can fly to Oahu for medical service without addressing the fact that none of the eight or so flights each day out of Kapalua airport are ADA compliant or that Kahului services can be an hour and a half away during peak tourist traffic times.

The pandemic has demonstrated that we need a surplus of medical services during normal times to be ready for emergencies. Also demonstrated are the advantages of decentralized, local medical clinics.

Hawaii needs to pick a lane and decide whether it’s a free market for medical services regulated only for safety and certification or is it government-run medical for all.

Since Medicare for all seems as distant a dream as improving the pali road, we should be allowing private equity to build as many medical facilities in underserved locations like Lahaina as they want to. We might even get some medical tourism out of it.

We don’t need the “Certificates of Need” process. We need medical services.

Mike Wildberger

Kihei

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