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Only foreign countries with weird languages and socialists in their government have universal health care... right? That's what the Republicans would have you believe, anyway -- a belief they want to foist off on you by getting you to ignore the fact that Hawaii exists.
In Hawaii, for 35 years, the state has required that employers provide health insurance for any employee who works 20 hours a week or more. And, like everything else in Hawaii, that's working out wonderfully: Hawaiians' insurance premiums are among the lowest in the country, and their Medicare costs per person are the lowest. Hawaii's unemployment rate in December 2009 was 6.9%, below the national average. It's average weekly wage in 2009 was $775 per week, an increase over 2008 and good enough to rank Hawaii 25th in the country.
Sunshine, beautiful beaches, palm trees, Lost is filmed there, plus top-half wages, low unemployment, and near universal health care? Could it get any better for Hawaii?
Sure: Hawaiians live longer than other U.S. citizens, their emergency rooms are 1/3 less busy than everywhere else, and they have a system where almost anyone in the state can talk or email a doctor anytime, day or night, for a nominal fee.
Good thing the rest of us don't have to suffer through a nightmare like universal health care. Thanks, Republicans!