STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3278
President of the Senate
State of Hawaii
The purpose and intent of this measure is to request that the United States Congress amend the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act to ensure that the Act receives permanent funding.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawai‘i System; Papa Ola Lōkahi; O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; Ho‘omana Pono, LLC; Ho‘omanapono Political Action Committee; and two individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Center for Hawaiian Sovereignty Studies. Your Committees received comments on this measure from one individual.
Your Committees find that the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act (NHHCIA) was enacted in 1988 and established a program to provide comprehensive health promotion and disease prevention services to Native Hawaiians. Your Committees further find that the funding for NHHCIA ends in fiscal year 2019, and unless authorization of the NHHCIA is extended, existing federal Native Hawaiian health care programs will end. Your Committees believe that the NHHCIA is imperative for the United States to fulfill its special responsibilities and legal obligations to Native Hawaiians to "raise the health status of Native Hawaiians to the highest possible health level", as stipulated in title 42 United States Code section 11702(1). Your Committees find that the Indian Health Care Improvement Act includes a provision for permanent funding of the Act, to remain available until expended. Your Committees recognize the work Papa Ola Lōkahi has been doing with the members of Hawaii's congressional delegation to authorize permanent funding for the NHHCIA, similar to the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. Your Committees believe that permanent funding is essential to providing Native Hawaiians with proper health care.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) As suggested by Papa Ola Lōkahi, clarifying that the United States Congress is requested to make permanent the authority of the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act, with all the funding resources necessary to effect this policy;
(2) Amending its title to reflect its amended purpose; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Hawaiian Affairs and Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that are attached to this report, your Committees concur with the intent and purpose of S.R. No. 44, as amended herein, and recommend that it be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means, in the form attached hereto as S.R. No. 44, S.D. 1.
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair
MAILE S.L. SHIMABUKURO, Chair