HONOLULU (AP) - Members of the Hawaii Senate Health Committee have approved a bill that would explore whether some of the state's public hospitals should become private.
Mounting costs and limited finances are straining hospital resources on Maui and the Big Island, but unions are worried that privatizing hospitals will mean lost jobs.
The Senate passed a separate bill last week that would give state hospitals a pathway to become private. The bill considered Friday was the House's version of the proposal, a more cautious approach that assigns a task force to study the issue.
Senators voted to expand the task force and chose not to align the measure with the Senate's more ambitious version. Health Committee Chairman Josh Green said there are still many unanswered questions that the task force could help answer.