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Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa

Representing the 1st District of Hawaii

Health Care + Social Security

Representative Hanabusa is committed to protecting long-cherished American entitlement programs and ensuring that all Americans have continued access to quality affordable health coverage.   

Millions of Americans rely on Social Security and Medicare for their daily needs.  However, despite the tremendous benefits these programs provide, they are constantly targeted for cuts. 

Social Security is a crucial lifeline for many seniors and vulnerable Americans-- providing a reliable foundation for retirement and a critical resource for those in crisis.  As the only source of income for many Americans, Social Security keeps up with the cost of living and prevents millions from falling victim to poverty.

In addition to Social Security, millions of Americans also rely on Medicare.  Medicare provides much-needed health insurance to seniors and those with disabilities and long-term illnesses.  Some Congressional leaders want to change Medicare into a voucher system, which would force many Americans  to spend nearly half of their Social Security benefits to cover healthcare costs.  The proposed voucher system would leave many ineligible for Medicare, create a difficult system for patients to navigate, and place an extreme financial burden on all recipients.  Social Security and Medicare both honor America’s commitment to hardworking seniors and the country’s most vulnerable citizens.  Representative Hanabusa will fight to ensure that Social Security and Medicare are not used as bargaining chips and will remain available to the millions who depend on them.  

Like Social Security and Medicare, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) provides critical assistance to millions.  The ACA expanded healthcare coverage and helped extend the life of Medicare—fully funding the program for an additional eleven years.  The ACA controlled high drug costs, allowed young adults to remain on their parents’ plan up to age 26, and discrimination against women and people with preexisting conditions.  The ACA continues to make health insurance more affordable and accessible, and Representative Hanabusa will oppose any plan to repeal it and leave millions of Americans without health insurance.

The ACA also expanded Medicaid and encouraged states like Hawaii to invest in their Medicaid programs.  Medicaid provides health insurance to millions of low-income Americans.  Currently, the federal government provides matching funds to states for their Medicaid programs.  Some Congressional leaders want to use block-grants in order to cap the amount of federal funding that states would receive for Medicaid.  If the matching funds system were replaced with a block-grant system, all states would be burdened with additional financial costs and the quality and services of their existing Medicaid programs would likely suffer.  The ACA and Medicaid are indispensable in providing healthcare coverage and improving the lives of millions of Americans.  Representative Hanabusa will fight to ensure that the ACA’s benefits remain intact, and for states to be able to continuously improve their Medicaid programs.

Representative Hanabusa knows that a financially secure and healthy population keeps America strong and prosperous.  She will continue to advocate for high-quality and affordable healthcare that the ACA provides and will work to protect the hard-fought programs like Medicare and Medicaid from legislation aimed at weakening these vital entitlements.



More on Health Care + Social Security

March 3, 2017 Press Release

Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii - On February 18, 2017, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa convened an ACA/Medicaid/Medicare Healthcare Roundtable to discuss the possible impact of an Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) repeal and/or replacement on Hawaii residents and Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act (“PHCA”).  Stakeholders present included Hawaii State House Health Committee Chair Della Au Belatti, Director of the State Director of  Labor and Industrial Relations Linda Chu Takayama, MedQuest Administrator Judy Mohr Peterson, Ph.D, and representatives from the healthcare industry,