Letters for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

• Insurance costs will rise and no one seems to know • Rapozo stands up for community

Insurance costs will rise and no one seems to know

Health care, and specifically health insurance costs, is the best kept secret of this election. Local candidates, especially those who supported the Affordable Care Act, are happy to talk about gun control, abortion and any thing other than what will become a true budget buster as we all get our new health insurance bills. And, of course, the bills go out after the elections. HMSA is doing their part by not informing those of us with private insurance that our current coverage will be canceled. A new “ACA Compliant” policy, in our case, will cost over four times as much with our deductible doubling. I expect that our experience will be repeated in many households across Hawaii. If your coverage comes through your work, expect a similar experience.

Waivers have been granted to insurances like HMSA that allow them to continue to offer these less expensive policies. I contacted eight candidates vying for offices from US Congress to State Assemblies, and of those who actually got back to me, not one of them was familiar with the issue.

This one has the makings of the recent Kauai County real estate tax hikes so poorly communicated to us by our elected officials. Maybe one of the candidates will open the discussion on this … hope springs eternal.

Robert Turchyn


Rapozo stands up for community

I read with interest the letter by Kris Van Dahm (TGI, Sept. 28) regarding school lunches and Mel Rapozo’s closing remark to the accusation of pandering. The definition of “political” pandering is when one’s views are expressed merely for the purpose of drawing support for votes and do not necessarily reflect one’s personal values. I have never written to the GI but felt a need to reply.

While I concur that there are more artful ways to have responded, I can surely understand the anger and frustration that Mel felt being wrongly charged with having an agenda that did not reflect his personal views. Mel is well-known in the community as being a true champion for kids. Over the many decades, he advocated for the athletic and academic advancement of children as president of Boys & Girls Club and Pop Warner regional director and president. He also served as a dedicated coach and mentor for Special Olympics and volunteered to referee under the scorching sun for KPAL flag football. This, after working a full midnight shift at his second job as a nighttime auditor. And yes, he volunteered. Although KPAL was required to pay him, upon receiving the checks he returned each one back to KPAL to be reinvested to help more kids. He didn’t take one penny.

In addition to helping children, he gave tirelessly to help the elderly as president of Kauai Senior Centers and served on numerous other boards including the American Red Cross and United Way. To top it off, he devoted 21 years of his life to protect the freedoms of this country before retiring as a Tech Sgt. from the Hawaii Air National Guard. He continues to strongly support veterans.

Mel has always been one to stand up and fight for what is right, no matter how much feathers he may ruffle in the process. In this instance, he demonstrated proven leadership by first trying to work with the state DOE to leave no child hungry at school. Despite his valiant efforts, the DOE responded inappropriately with denials and refusals to accept responsibility. It was only after the problem persisted with no agreement by DOE to rectify the issue, that he brought this to the council and he got unanimous support from all seven members (which is rare for this council).

Mel’s accolades are many, yet I have never seen him take credit for anything. He perseveres in difficult situations and always looks for solutions. He is the kind of person who sincerely has our best interests at heart. Please join me in voting for Mel in the general election.

Jane Kanealii



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