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Legislative Update: Senate passes amended HHSC task force bill

March 16, 2013

On March 15, the Senate Committee on Health, led by Chair Josh Green, passed H.B. 1483, with amendments. The bill, which establishes a task force to study the feasibility of allowing the operations of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation regional systems and their facilities to transition to public-private partnership status, was amended to include as members on the task force two representatives from public-sector unions, one from the State Department of Budget and Finance, one from the HHSC board and other organizations.

Thank you to the many HGEA members who answered our call to action and took the time to submit written testimony in opposition of the bill.

Although HGEA submitted testimony opposing the creation of a task force, we recognize the efforts of legislators who made amendments to the bill with the interests of our members in mind.

We greatly appreciate all the support from Senator Green and the committee members who fought to protect the public health facilities from privatization and for looking out for the interests of impacted employees.

We also appreciate Representative Della Au Belatti and House Speaker Joe Souki for taking a strong position on preventing privatization.

We look forward to working with these legislators as efforts are made to restructure the HHSC.

On a related note, HGEA and UPW have been invited to participate in a discussion with local hospital providers and health insurers on addressing possible local solutions for some of the challenges HHSC is facing. We will report back to you.

We will continue to keep you updated on the status of bills as more information becomes available.

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