|Kaʻū welcomed the towering Hawai'i Preparatory Academy team from the north on Saturday evening |
and beat them during senior night, the last home game of the season for the Trojans. See more below.
Photo by Julia Neal
MARSHALLESE AND MICRONESIAN RESIDENTS OF KA'Ū may be in for some extra funding for health insurance. Pacific Islanders are critical to the agricultural economy of the district and many are without health care. Gov. Josh Green announced Friday that he has accepted $15.8 million from Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, Carmen G. Cantor. The federal funding is provided to help defray the state's costs of providing services to citizens of the Freely Associated States who live throughout the Hawaiian Islands. "We welcome this generous assistance from the federal government in helping to care for our brothers and sisters from other Pacific islands," said Green. "We are one ʻohana and as governor, I am committed to helping residents of Hawaiʻi receive the access to services they need," said the governor.
|U.S. Assistant Secretary for Insular & International Affairs with|
Gov. Josh Green who announced acceptance of $15.8 million
to help Pacific Islanders, particularly with health insurance.
Photo from the Governor's Office
"During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw Pacific Islanders disproportionately hard-hit, having the worst rate of infections, despite making up only 4 percent of our population," said the governor.
The Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs said, "I was pleased to meet with Governor Green and reiterate Interior's continued commitment to working with the State of Hawai'i with respect to Compact Impact issues,"
The statement from the governor's office says, the state "Department of Human Services has been a strong advocate for Hawaiʻi residents from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau, which are members of the Compact of Free Association. The department recognizes the barriers to accessing quality health care this community has faced and in December of 2020, Congress restored Medicaid eligibility for U.S. residents from those nations. In State Fiscal Year 2022, approximately 16,300 members of the COFA population residing in Hawai'i received medical insurance coverage or premium assistance.
|Pacific Islanders are critical to the labor force in agriculture|
in Kaʻū. Many have no health care coverage. Photo by Julia Neal
The governor's statement noted: "Eligibility for many of the safety net programs for these Pacific islanders was cut off, due to the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, which Hawaiʻi's Congressional delegation has been working to correct. The COFA treaties were first signed into law by then-Pres. Ronald Reagan and allowed citizens of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands to move to the United States without time limits or the burden of obtaining visas. The treaties recognize the responsibility the U.S. has to these nations for activities including nuclear testing from 1946 to 1958."
Transfer of the funds to the state is anticipated in a matter of days, said the statement from Green.To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com, in the mail and on stands.
|Stacey Bello heads up the state|
school district that includes Kaʻū.
Bello earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from University of Hawai'i-Hilo. She earned teaching certifications in elementary and special education. Her master’s degree in teaching comes from from National University.
|Bringing HPA down to earth,|
Ka'ū beat the tall ones from
the north. Photo by Julia Neal