25 Aug 2009

Hawaii urged to hold off health fund slashes for Micronesians

8:52 pm on 25 August 2009

The Counsel General of the Federated States of Micronesia in Hawaii says the government of Hawaii should hold off on plans to slash funding for health services, and wait for a response on its plea for additional support from the Federal Government.

The State of Hawaii is preparing to reduce, as of September the first, the free medical services provided to citizens of the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia - all states which are in free association with the US.

The Counsel General, Akillino Susaia, says one solution would be for the three small states to go directly to the Federal Government to seek further assistance.

"Well I hope we can work together. This is really a government to government issue, which the FSM, the Marshalls and the Palau governments must take up to the US federal government and not so much directing our concerns to the state of Hawaii."

Akillino Susaia says an Hawaiian Congressman is seeking an amendment to a US health bill, in the hope Hawaii can gain full reimbursements on money it spends on health care for those under the freely associated states arrangement.