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Hawaii lawmakers advance hospital privatization

The Hawaii Senate Committee on Ways and Means has pushed forward a measure to allow Hawaii's regional hospitals to become private.

Supporters say the change would help improve and expand the healthcare that's available in the neighbor islands. They say that the shift is necessary given the rising costs of healthcare and the state's budget limitations.

But many are concerned about what privatization would mean for people's jobs.

Maui's only main hospital has already been approached by Banner Health, an Arizona-based no-for-profit healthcare organization, which says would be willing to take over. But Maui's unions strongly oppose the change.

Senators say there are still many details that need to be worked out about the bill. The full Senate will consider the measure next.

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