August 27, 2001
Contact: Rep. Charles K. Djou
Tel.: (808) 478-0006


House Republicans said today the Democrat's recent interest in reducing the high cost of medical services is a complete turnaround from the previous legislative session when a Republican bill eliminating the GET on medical services was voted down.

Republicans were referencing the convening of a Senate committee to inquire into the high cost of prescription drugs.

House Minority Leader Rep. Galen Fox (R-Waikiki) stated, "The new interest by some Democrats--especially Ron Menor who is supposedly running for Lieutenant Governor--in reducing the rising cost of medicine in Hawaii seems politically motivated.  Nevertheless, House Republicans hope to see those Democrats joining us in our fight to eliminate the excise tax on medical services."

Rep. Charles K. Djou (R-Kaneohe) explained, “Eliminating the excise tax on medical services is something the Hawaii Legislature should do immediately to help reduce the rising cost of medicine in Hawaii. Coverage of prescription drugs under Medicare, however, is a federal issue best left to Congress. Using of price controls or creating a new drug buying bureaucracy will only discourage pharmaceutical research and increase the size of state government with little benefit to Hawaii residents.”

Coverage of prescription drugs is a major federal issue being dealt with in Washington. At the state capitol, however, Republican legislators are working hard to eliminate Hawaii’s unfair excise tax on medical services.