Drug Deal - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

October 14, 2010

Drug Deal

The State of Hawaii announced that it will net about $30-$40 million in out-of-court settlements with numerous drug prescription companies who overcharged the state for years. Of course, the paying companies admitted no wrongdoing in the settlements. Apparently, the money that the state gets back will be placed in the general fund, which means it will simply disappear into that vast barrel of bucks that gets earmarked annually for all things that the state must pay for.

But what if we took this money, since it came from medically-related malfeasance at some level, and applied it directly toward medical needs? What if we asked the State Department of Human Services and the Health Department for ideas on the best use and most immediate needs of our community? After all, whatever we don't get fixed up in our state related to human needs always comes back to cost us a lot more down the road. What if more transition shelters could be built quickly; what if more education could be paid for regarding teen pregnancy, ice, healthy eating habits, etc.?

Undoubtedly, a portion of this settlement money might someday find its way to local human services, but can't we put this money to use right away, knowing that the tough economy has already forced some big time cutbacks in areas and programs related to human needs that the state provides? Ironically, better education, understanding, and pro-action by some of the users of Medicaid, the program that was ripped off in this instance, might preclude the need for inevitable drug usage by hundreds, if not thousands, of people locally, which would be a good deal for the people and the state. Think about it…

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