‘I Want To Live’ – Micronesians sit in Lingle’s office waiting for meeting

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Photos: Ikaika Hussey/Hawaii Independent

Today, Micronesians United held a demonstration at the State Capitol and sat in Governor Lingle’s office to protest the state’s plans to cut of crucial health care for Micronesians in Hawai’i, which they are entitled to under Compacts of Free Association with the U.S.   The Hawaii Independent has excellent coverage of the action.

Under the Compacts, Micronesians can travel to the U.S. and have access to services. This was part of the deal when the U.S. gained control over the islands after World War II and established a special “Strategic Trust” over the former Japanese territories, in contrast to the United Nations trusts established for the decolonization of non-self-governing territories.

Rather than provide for true self-determination and the possibility of independence for these countries, the U.S. secretly and deliberately stunted the development of Micronesian nations in order to maintain their dependency on (and subservience to) the U.S.    Driven strongly by military strategy and interests, America turned the entire Pacific ocean into an “American Lake”.  The Marshall Islands have a special claim to health care due to the U.S. nuclear testing in their islands that have caused an environmental health catastrophe for many islanders.

Below is an article from the Honolulu Advertiser.


Updated at 4:01 p.m., Friday, August 28, 2009


RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

Micronesians sit in Lingle’s office waiting for meeting

Advertiser Staff

Micronesians United rallied at the state Capitol today against a new state plan that will cut back on health care benefits to some 7,500 adult Micronesians who are part of the Compact of Free Association.

About 30 members of the group also sat in the governor’s offices for more than an hour after requesting to see her, but aides said she was in a meeting and couldn’t speak to them. No administration officials came out to speak the group.

Elma Coleman, a member of Micronesians United, said she was disappointed the governor didn’t speak to the group. She said they would be back on Monday morning to again seek a meeting with the governor.


RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

“It seems like she doesn’t care,” Coleman said.

Meanwhile, Lawyers for Equal Justice told Micronesians United members that they were looking into filing suit against the state over the health care cuts.

The new Basic Health Hawaii program would save the state $15 million but limits monthly services to 12 outpatient doctor visits, 10 hospital days, six mental health visits, three procedures and emergency medical and dental care. It does not allow for “life saving” dialysis or chemotherapy treatments.

The new plan is to start on Tuesday.

Source: http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090828/BREAKING01/90828019/Micronesians%20sit%20in%20Lingle%20s%20office%20waiting%20for%20meeting?GID=3K8YwfKsSiikRo2gb+CSFOfYLZkQuxMph1AiAtEH8Rk%3D


Jan Furukawa

How can the state actually do this?? Shame on the citizens of Hawai’i, where first was called Paradise by all, and other Pacific Islanders wanted their home islands to “grow up” into a Hawai’i of sorts… Hawai’i should return to its age-old values, true Hawaiiana, wherein the hosts would take care of their Pacific brothers and sisters to the very best of their ability… Here on Guam, it’s called Inafa’maolek, which means we look after one another. We provide assistance in spite of the increasing strain on the larger community due to inadequate support from the federal government, but we would never consider cutting off any life-giving humanitarian aid.

keani isisaki

i think that linda lingle shoud really help these people.
They have the right to be able to be taken care of like alot of other people.
They have a voice too,everyone should have ALOHA for them


In your criticism, you need to distinguish between the citizens of Hawai’i and the government leaders who don’t necessarily represent the best interests of the people. Many of us in Hawai’i, both Kanaka Maoli and non-Native residents, agree with you that health care is a human right. The other factor that must be kept in mind: Hawai’i is under U.S. occupation. The laws and policies that get enacted such as the draconian fiscal shock treatment of the governor reflect this history and the neoliberal leanings of the ruling elites, not Hawaiian cultural values. Aloha ‘Aina.




i agree to all but see yes we micronesians need the medical assistance but we also have to show our courage its not that we cant handle anything that comes up im right now living in the united states and have a mother and father living in hawaii who dont have the ability to work and get the insurance they need so yes elderly and sick people who need those but young people can work and get the insurance they need ive lived in hawaii half my life and ive learned that some micronesians not only come to hawaii to work and find a living but they only come there to just sit around and get money now see all those who are doing that is not fair for those of us working our ass off and yall gone just sit and collect thats why the hawaii government is doing that im sorry.

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