BY KENNETH R. CONKLIN, PH.D. — S.66 is a bill in the 112th Congress entitled “The Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act,” introduced by Senator Dan Inouye on January 15, 2011. At the end of February the bill had no cosponsors — not even the figurehead champion of ethnic Hawaiians, Senator Dan Akaka.
The bill’s stated purpose is to re-authorize and expand previous legislation going back to 1988 which established Papa Ola Lokahi, the federally-funded ethnic Hawaiian healthcare system — one of the largest racially exclusionary programs for the benefit of ethnic Hawaiians. (There are more than a thousand Hawaiians-only programs; see “references”).
A hidden purpose of S.66 is to restate and enshrine language from the apology resolution of 1993 and the failed Akaka bill of 2000 to 2010. S.66 would thereby bolster the claim that the federal government already recognizes ethnic Hawaiians as an Indian tribe, thus strengthening legal defenses against 14th Amendment challenges to Hawaii’s plethora of racial entitlement programs.
Hawaii’s racial separatist establishment has become so powerful that it now demands federal and state political recognition as a government. By defeating S.66 we can remove one large brick from Hawaii’s wall of apartheid while helping reduce the federal budget deficit. As Rahm Emanuel famously said, we should never let a crisis go to waste. The budget crisis is an opportunity to get political support to eliminate failed pork barrel programs with bad social consequences, like S.66
S.66 can be downloaded in pdf format from the Government Printing Office: http://tinyurl.com/4va8u7q
During a time of financial austerity Congress should eliminate failed programs instead of perpetuating them.
Pages 17-38 in S.66 are a list of horrible diseases which allegedly afflict ethnic Hawaiians disproportionately. The victimhood statistics can be challenged — indeed, this essay offers strong arguments that many are bogus. But if true, the statistics provide evidence that hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent during 23 years of the Native Hawaiian Healthcare system have failed to remedy the disparity; so Congress should cancel this failed program.
Ethnic Hawaiians will not be denied healthcare if the race-based system is canceled. They would get healthcare the same way everyone else does. The only people who would suffer are the highly paid bureaucrats and tycoons of the Hawaiian grievance industry, who use the healthcare system as a center of racial preference patronage jobs, political power, and propaganda in a campaign for racial separatism.
Maintaining a federally funded healthcare system that is racially segregated violates the 14th Amendment equal protection clause of the Constitution, and is also morally wrong. Government should treat all people equally regardless of race. Suppose government help is given to people based on need alone. Then if it were true that ethnic Hawaiians have the most severe health problems and the greatest need, they will therefore get the lion’s share of the help solely because they are needy.
There’s no evidence to show that ethnic Hawaiians have any genetic, biological differences from people of other races (such as sickle cell anemia afflicting African-Americans or Tay-Sachs disease afflicting Ashkenazi Jews). But if they did have such differences, scientific and medical professionals of all races could create medicines to help afflicted individuals rather than huge institutions devoted to an entire racial group.
Some defenders of race-based medicine assert that ethnic Hawaiians are a unique people with unique social customs requiring a culture-based medical delivery system. But nearly all ethnic Hawaiians are of mixed race. They live, work, play, and pray right next to people of other races in Hawaii’s fully integrated multicultural society. Assimilated people don’t have unique social needs as a group, and should not be racially profiled or stereotyped that way. Hawaii has many first, second, or third generation U.S. citizens from countries which do indeed have very different cultures; but there are no demands for federally funded race-based or culture-based healthcare systems to serve them.
We often hear that Native Hawaiians have the worst statistics among Hawaii’s ethnic groups for income, incarceration, drug abuse, breast cancer, diabetes, etc. S.66 includes more than 20 pages of allegations of disproportionate suffering. While discrepancies for income and incarceration are probably real, they are also normal because the average age of ethnic Hawaiians is 25 while the average age for everyone else in Hawaii is 39.
Low income, drug abuse, and crime are dysfunctions of youth regardless of race.
Most claims that ethnic Hawaiians have disproportionate levels of disease or incarceration are probably false, but need more analysis. Here’s why. Perhaps 3/4 of all ethnic Hawaiians have 3/4 of their genetic heritage that is Euro-American or Asian rather than native. When a woman with 1/16 native blood quantum gets breast cancer, one full tally mark for breast cancer is awarded to the “Native Hawaiian” category by the tycoons of the Hawaiian grievance industry. But actually that woman’s tally mark should be awarded to the ethnic group which has the largest percentage of her genetic heritage.
Better yet, fractional tally marks should be awarded to each ethnic group in proportion to their percentage of her heritage. Of course Hawaiian researchers have no desire to gather or analyze data according to percentage of blood quantum, because most of their claims to disproportionate victimhood would vanish, along with the government and philanthropic grants they get by citing their bogus statistics.
Congress should defeat S.66 and use the money to reduce the budget deficit. If Congress wants to send money to Hawaii, the correct program to fund is healthcare for the thousands of Micronesians who come to Hawaii under the Compact of Free Association. The U.S. signed a treaty which costs Hawaii taxpayers $120 Million per year for welfare and medical expenses. Senator Inouye has known about this problem for several years but has not submitted an earmark or a bill to get money for this unfunded federal mandate. Yet he introduces bills like S.66 to get money for his favorite racial group for unnecessary, failed programs.
What’s above is a summary of an in-depth analysis of S.66. The complete essay explores each point more thoroughly and provides references to support the analysis. The bottom 2/3 of the essay lists 35 political and historical “findings” comprising pp. 2-22 of the bill, and provides a detailed rebuttal to each one including citations to authoritative sources. See http://tinyurl.com/4vqfxeq