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Unique Solutions to Health Care

Location: Washington, DC

UNIQUE SOLUTIONS TO HEALTH CARE -- (House of Representatives - July 28, 2009)


Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, we've been grappling with how to provide all of our citizens with access to affordable, quality health care since President Truman's time. With health care costs being 18 percent of our GDP and growing and 47 million uninsured, we need to take action now. My Education and Labor Committee spent 22 1/2 hours in a 24-hour period debating H.R. 3200, a historic bill.

In 1974, the State of Hawaii enacted historic legislation of its own called the Prepaid Health Care Act. This law requires employers to provide health care coverage to full-time employees. After 35 years, the Prepaid Health Care Act remains the only employer mandate law of its kind in our country.

An economist at the University of Hawaii estimates that per capita, health expenditures in Hawaii have been about 7 percent lower than the national average. The economist believes that Hawaii's wider health insurance coverage and support for preventive health care led to this outcome.

Hawaii's Prepaid Health Care Act has been the major driver in the health and well-being of our residents.


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