I was feeling a little guilty when Chase Haynes, Hollywood (aka John Kisala) and myself landed in Honolulu for work. I'm not one to turn down tough assignments as a reporter, but as a surfer, going to Hawaii isn't exactly "roughing it." Not to mention, Chase and Hollywood are among the best producers and cameramen in the business. But with the nation focused on the president's push for universal health care -- and the rush on Capitol Hill to produce legislation -- I soon learned the wisdom of Sean's assignment: there are lessons in the land of pineapples that seem lost on its favorite son, Barack Obama.
Hawaii was the first state in the country to attempt universal health care. It was called "Keiki Care" (Keiki means Child in Native Hawaiian) and it was stopped seven short months after it began due to budgetary concerns. Republican Gov. Linda Lingle had signed it into law, but they soon found a whopping majority of those who wanted free health care already had been insured!
You don't hear the President talk about "Keiki Care" in his speeches. So our mission was simple: talk everyone in Hawaii and find out what happened in the Aloha State.
We interviewed every major player involved including Gov. Lingle, State Senators David Ige, Josh Green and Sam Slom (only one of two Republicans), representatives of the largest health insurance provider in Hawaii H.M.S.A. and a local talk radio legend Rick Hamada. And just to top it off, Hollywood shot some of the most beautiful waves, surfers, bikinis and sunsets the island has to offer.
Bottom Line: Sean was right to send us to island paradise to investigate what happens with universal health care on the small scale, before we attempt it on the larger, federal scale.
You can't afford to miss this SPECIAL EPISODE of "Hannity" on health care THIS THURSDAY June 23rd!!