Hawaii Coalition For Health www.hawaiicoalition4health.com

Hawaii Coalition For Health www.hawaiicoalition4health.com

The Coalition is a non-profit membership organization that is committed to assuring a vigorous and patient-centered health care environment for Hawaii''s people, today and tomorrow. The Coalition''s goal is to secure a health care environment for Hawaii that ensures the availability and adequacy of the services that are essential to the health and well-being of all of Hawaii''s people, in times of good health and bad, and in times of catastrophe.

Most of the policy-oriented discussion the public hears today is coming from health care plans and insurers, who are generally very large and well-funded, and those in government who are responsible for the nation''s health care tab. Their stated concerns focus on short-term cost-control. Most of us recognize that cost-control measures have their place in the health care discussion. The Coalition is committed, however, to ensuring that the debate is ultimately patient-centered and properly concerned with the long-term effects of today''s actions.

The Coalition is convinced that the great majority of health care consumers do not want a health care system that meets only the needs of patients in good health. The system must be available to meet our needs when we are sick or injured and need it most. In those times, the system must be capable of responding promptly, adequately, and compassionately.

It is clear, however, that there is an alarming trend away from our most fundamental health care values. We hear more news everyday indicating that the primary concern of the industry that provides the financial link between insured health care consumers and care is more concerned with successfully limiting benefits, than it is with responding to the demands of care.

Our health care future cannot be entrusted to the middlemen of health care, insurance companies, HMOs, and associations. Too often they see today''s bottom line as their primary concern. In our current rampantly competitive environment, we cannot expect the middlemen to have the will or vision to establish and maintain a commitment to ensuring the quality and availability of care in the future. We can only be certain that they will respond to our demands, the demands of health care consumers, when and if we are resolute, insistent, and united. The future of our health care system depends on you, on every one of us, becoming educated and involved. There is much you can do. The Coalition is helping provide you with education and action alternatives.

We wish to emphasize that the Coalition recognizes that health care consumers are not the only activists our future health care system needs. If the health care system is to be prepared to meet the needs of the future, informed patients, physicians and health care providers, health care administrators and insurers, benefits purchasers, and regulators must work together to mediate their respective interests in ways that promote the coexistence of quality and efficiency, fairness and cost effectiveness. The Coalition is committed to bringing all of these interests and voices to the effort to make Hawaii''s health care system the best in the world. A spirited debate is essential to resolving our competing and mutual interests. We hope you will participate in the debate. At the very least, you should expect some of the various interests to be in disagreement at any given time and to energetically advocate their positions.

The Coalition hopes that, because the people who make up each interest are all fundamentally allied because all are health care consumers, we can all at least agree on one thing: that we want our needs met with the most effective, efficient, compassionate, and well-prepared care possible. If we can share that goal, we can succeed in making our health care system better for all health care consumers. Membership dues and contributions support the Coalition. The Coalition''s members include patients and physicians. (We hope that we can soon expect financial support from responsible health care plans and insurers and benefits purchasers.) The Coalition''s officers, staff, and consultants, all listed below, are volunteers.

Arlene Jouxson-Meyers, Esq., MD., JD., MPH. President
Peter Locatelli, MD., Vice President
Rafael del Castillo, JD Secretary/Treasurer