Letters for Friday, March 17, 2017

• The American Health Care Act is the wrong prescription • Filipinos taking the lead

The American Health Care Act is the wrong prescription

The proposed Republican healthcare bill will be a bad deal for older people. As a geriatric physician, I provide specialized care for seniors. I am familiar with the services, medications, and unique needs of older adults when they are dealing with medical problems or preventive health care (i.e. screening tests, vaccinations, etc.).

Under this plan, most Medicare enrollees would see higher premiums, while drug companies will get tax breaks without any controls on the rising costs of prescription drugs.

Because of an “age-tax”, a person between the ages of 50-64 who has to buy insurance will likely see big increases in premiums because of their age, with only very limited tax credits to help them.

Low-income seniors will be hardest hit. By AARP’s estimate, a 64-year-old making $15,000 would pay $8,400 more for coverage under the Ryan bill. How will this be possible? State Medicaid budgets would not be able to make up this difference, due to cutbacks from the federal government also outlined in the American Health Care Act.

We have a responsibility as neighbors and citizens to help the sick, the frail, and the disabled. This job will become much harder if the Republicans push their plan through Congress.

Laurel Coleman, MD, Kalaheo

Filipinos taking the lead

After reading your article “Next Gen: Next Generation of Filipino Chamber of Commerce Members Stepping Up,” (TGI, March 12) I am at once excited and proud to see the younger generation of Filipinos taking action and becoming recognized leaders in our community.

Hawaii is a multicultural island (which I celebrate) and the Filipinos are now the second-largest racial population in the state of Hawaii. Yet as a group, they have had relatively few leadership and political roles.

In Kauai, young Filipino men and women, like Addison and Juno, are the future of not only Filipinos but for all cultures of Hawaii. Another is Justin Britt, a successful entrepreneur, part-Filipino raised in Kauai. He is a co-founder of Hawaii Life Real Estate Services as well as the face for Green Aloha.

Simultaneously, the baby boomer generation of Filipinos, like Oscar Portugal and Norma Doctor Sparks, have extensive public service helping the Kauai community.

I hail both the old and the new guard and it is time for more Filipinos to step up and take action as leaders in their community.

Emma Lazo (Ladendecker), Kapaa

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