March is Women’s History Month, and March 23, 2010 was the date that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law.
The ACA made health care accessible to 20 million people, reducing the uninsured population from 17.8% to 10.9%. The Republican Party continues to challenge ACA, even in the midst of a pandemic, where more than 28 million have been stricken, and more than 500,000 Americans have lost their lives. For working people the struggle for quality health care continues!
Here are two stories from our moving image archive that illustrate issues pertaining to women’s health. Mrs. Endo came to Hawaiʻi as a picture bride in 1913. While working in a remote field in 1922, she was seriously injured. Her harrowing story is told to us by historian, Barbara Kawakami.
Robert Muroda was born in Hawai‘i and worked on the Wai‘anae Plantation. He shares a story told to him by his mother, a famous plantation midwife during the early 1900s. Delivering babies in the field where the pregnant patient was working was not uncommon!
The ILWU, led by Ah Quon McElrath, waged a sustained fight for better health care options for its members and the general public. A major victory was the passage of Hawai‘i’s Pre-paid Health Care Act by the state legislature in 1974. This law provided for employer healthcare coverage for all employees working 20 hours/week or more.
Our website continues to grow. We thank Frank Moy and his wife, Marcia Mau for their generous support for our Plantation History Preservation and Digitization project, making these segments available to the public after more than 30 years. Thanks to many of you, we are within $25,000 of full funding for our Ah Quon McElrath documentary (working title The Struggle Never Ends).
Our goal is to complete the film by March 2022. So please consider a gift today. Follow this link to the University of Hawai‘i Foundation website.
Note: If you are old enough to take required minimum distributions (RMD), ask your financial advisor how to save tax dollars by donating your RMD directly to a 501(c)(3).
Please spread the word. Share this Bulletin and our website www.laboristoryhawaii.org with your friends and contacts!
Mahalo, Chris Conybeare, Executive Producer