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Thursday, June 19, 2014
Sutton: Disconnect the Hawaii Health Connector
By News Release @ 11:27 PM :: 3861 Views :: Health Care, Politicians, Republican Party

DISCONNECT THE HAWAI’I HEALTH CONNECTOR — NOW!

Calls out Democrat candidates to respond.

News Release from Kimo Sutton Campaign

(Honolulu, 19 June 2014)  Kimo Sutton, candidate for LT. Governor in the 2014 Republican Primary, has called for the state to put an end to the Hawai’i Health Connector immediately.

Sutton stated: “We can provide care and insurance for all of Hawai’i’s citizens, particularly the unemployed and disadvantaged, in a more efficient and cost-effective way than using a system that was designed in Washington that only works in states with much larger populations. Hawai’i must opt out of this biased, costly system and do what’s right for Hawai’i. Why throw good money after bad?”

Sutton added, “Below a certain population size, it makes no sense for a state like Hawai’i to run its own exchange.  We have better, less expensive, home-grown alternatives that are proven to be more effective.”

Kimo Sutton’s position is supported by both the facts and Hawai’i’s own health care experts.

A total of 28 million residents of the USA were eligible to enroll in health insurance through the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA).  Of those, 58,000 — only 2 tenths of one percent of those eligible — live in Hawaii.

Fourteen states including Hawaii and the District of Colombia established their own exchanges. The average cost per enrollee through a federal exchange was $647.  In contrast, the average cost through a state exchange was $1,503.  California, the most efficient state-run exchange, spent $758 per enrollee. 

Hawaii, with a combination of a poorly-functioning website, a small population and an even smaller population of uninsured, received $200 million in grant funding yet enrolled just 8,592 people – the taxpayer paid an average of $23,899 per enrollee, nearly 40 times more than the cost of the federal exchange. For twice the money, New York enrolled 370,000 at $1,159 per person, less than 5% of what it cost in Hawai’i to do the same thing.

Sutton said, “The Hawai’i Health Connector required excessive funding to achieve goals that under Republican leadership could have been accomplished at far less cost.”  Hawaii should ask the federal government for an exception to the part of the Affordable Care Act that requires states to run their own insurance exchanges. Now, not in December. 

When elected, LT. Governor Kimo Sutton will help make this happen, to the benefit of deserving Hawaiian health care recipients and taxpayers alike. 

Mike Gold, Chief Executive Officer of Hawaii Medical Service Association, said that it’s time to do away with the Hawaii Health Connector exchange. (Star-Adv May 10, 2014)

Connector officials haven't said how they plan to operate the exchange once $204.3 million in federal funds ends this year or how they plan to increase enrollment, which totaled just over 10,000 as of June 6, 2014.

Tom Matsuda, Interim Executive Director of the Connector, says that Hawaii's health insurance exchange isn’t sustainable.

Republican candidate for LT Governor Kimo Sutton has an effective solution. “Six more members of board of directors for the Hawaii Health Connector will vacate June 30 leaving the board without a quorum.  It is a perfect time to replace it with a solution that is more appropriate for the state of Hawai’i.  It’s time to disconnect the Hawai’i Health Connector.” 

Sutton calls out both leading Democrat LT Governor candidates to respond.

Hee and Tsutsui need to take a position as Kimo Sutton has. Will they want to spend millions to continue this boondoggle or be responsible to taxpayers and get out now?

## END ##

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