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Letters for Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Save Hale Le‘a Clinic

The North Shore is in danger of losing its excellent Hale Le‘a Clinic due to severe financial challenges that are common to medical providers in Hawai‘i.

Hawai‘i has the lowest reimbursement rate from insurers in the nation, including by Medicare, and this fact is aggravated by the highest cost of living and cost of doing business. Hale Le‘a Clinic faces the extra challenge that about two-thirds of its patients are on government insurance.

Hale Le‘a is a strong community asset since it is health care as it should be: a full set of primary care services right in the heart of the community, a not-for-profit model, care for all who need it when they need it, and caring, dedicated staff.

Community health care close to where it is needed is vital for good health outcomes for patients, and it is also important for the island as a whole, as it offers additional resilience and capacity at all times, including during times of natural disaster.

Our elected leaders at the local, state, and federal level, as well as the community at large must act to prevent this valued and important community asset from closing, including by working to stop the outrage of criminally low insurance reimbursement rates.

Julio Magalhães, Kilauea

Which County Council Candidate Represents You?

I am so grateful to the YWCA and other sponsors of the Oct 13-14 County Council Candidates Forum, and to the candidates who spoke so that we could get clearer about our choices.

Here is some of what we heard during the Forum that made an impression on us: When legislation is proposed, Councilwoman Felicia Cowden considers who that legislation could hurt and talks with some of those citizens to broaden her understanding of the issue. Bravo! Also, she is passionate about keeping our ‘ohana on the island by addressing the housing crisis.

It’s clear that some of the candidates who are currently not on the council are not new to serving our community. For example, both Fern Anuenue Holland and Addison Bulosan are actively involved with and leading nonprofits and projects that help Kauai residents, businesses, and our ‘aina. These are the kind of people I want working for us.

We listened especially for those who we felt would represent what is most important to us. Councilman KipuKai Kuali‘i addressed many of our concerns, among them: affordable housing, diversifying the economy, raising the minimum wage, building a better bus system, creating more agricultural parks and shared gardens, and providing infrastructure to support greater EV use.

We are especially passionate about affordable housing, and for that reason, will not support those council members who denied us citizens the right to decide whether to allocate 2 percent of our tax money to affordable housing.

I urge you to register to vote (, and then vote for those candidates whose ideas and actions best represent you.

Marian Head, Kapa‘a
Source: The Garden Island

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