HONOLULU (AP) — A bill to allow regional hospitals to be bought by private companies
has advanced at the State Legislature. The bill was prompted by a bid from nonprofit Banner
Health to run hospitals on the Big Island and Maui. Supporters say they favor privatization
for public hospitals that lack money and resources to provide quality health care. Opponents
worry privatization could lead to job cuts and don’t want a mainland company controlling
local healthcare. The bill was approved last week by the Senate Health Committee and sent
to the Committee on Ways and Means.