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Akaka attends health insurance bill signing

Sen. Daniel Akaka enters the East Room of the White House prior to the signing ceremony. (Photo by Perisha Gates, Senate Democratic Multimedia Center)

MEDIA RELEASE

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka attended President Obama’s signing of the health insurance reform bill Tuesday, March 23 in the East Room of the White House.

“It was a real pleasure and a privilege to witness the signing of this great bill by the president at the White House,” Akaka said. “Our President Obama accomplished something that other presidents have tried. This bill really expands access to health coverage to millions of more people. It was a great feeling to know that history was taking place there. To know also that this bill does contain funds for our hospitals in Hawaii under DSH and Hawaii will certainly gain a lot by helping the poor people that need help. It was so great to know that a person from Hawaii is leading the nation and doing such a great job, so I couldn’t help but give him a big hug after the signing.”

The legislation includes a permanent restoration of a Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) allotment for Hawaii. DSH is intended to support hospitals that care for significant numbers of Medicaid and uninsured patients.

The legislation also includes language allowing Hawaii’s employer-mandated insurance law to remain in effect.

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