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Friday, January 3, 2014
HI Health Connector Solicits GOP Help in Boosting Enrollments
By News Release @ 3:19 PM :: 4027 Views :: Health Care

HI Health Connector Solicits GOP Help in Boosting Enrollments

News Release from Hawaii Republican Party, January 3, 2013

Below is the response of the HRP Executive Director, Kayla Berube, to the HI Health Connector's request for GOP help in boosting enrollment numbers.

  *   *   *   *   *

On Fri, Dec 27, 2013 at 11:52 AM, Ria Baldevia wrote:

Hi Kayla:

I work with the Hawaii Health Connector and I am currently spearheading a grassroots campaign focused on education and enrollment.

This is a new program under executive director Tom Matsuda. I am hoping we can meet and discuss how we can incorporate GOP leadership and lawmakers to help assist uninsured Hawaii residents get coverage.

Will you be available for a meeting on Monday afternoon?

Ria Baldevia

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Kayla Berube

Date: Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Subject: Re: Hawaii Health Connector

To: Ria Baldevia

Ms. Baldevia,

Mahalo for your message. We would love to help assist uninsured Hawaii residents get access to affordable health care. The HRP is willing to promote policies that ensure people better access to care, and allows them to keep their plans and doctors if they like them. Unfortunately the Affordable Care Act does none of the above.

In the state of Hawaii, the cost to taxpayers is nearly $100,000 per enrollee. The law's mandates are already driving up premiums, and nearly 5 million Americans nationally have lost their plans.  On Tuesday, the Star Advertiser reported Kaiser and HMSA will be increasing rates as much as 9.2% on thousands of individual and small businesses. So yes, let’s talk about affordable care. 

The Health Connector still isn't effectively connected to our state’s Medicaid system, which means low-income applicants are trapped in limbo. Yes, let’s assure them access to affordable care.

The Hawaii Health Connector has received over $200 million dollars in federal funding, which would seem like plenty of money to avoid the failures we have witnessed in the first three months. Where did that money go?

The Hawaii Health Connector (and the federal government) has refused to release specific demographics on actual successful enrollments.  If the enrollees are primarily older Americans instead of young, working Americans, the Affordable Care Act will be fiscally unsustainable with massive additional funding required in the future from the Federal and State governments.

We believe Hawaii residents should be able to securely sign up through your website, but the National Review reported it is one of many state-run exchanges vulnerable to Wi-Fi attacks, allowing hackers to intercept personal information of those trying to obtain health insurance. It’s no surprise that CGI Group has had such “technical difficulties” – even Senate President Donna Mercado Kim advised against awarding the $53 million dollar contract to CGI after their botched upgrade of the Hawaii tax-collection system.

Since the Hawaii Health Connector is exempt from transparency requirements, and not required to respond to open-records requests, it’s safe to assume the taxpayers of Hawaii will never know just how much this program has cost them.

In fact, the struggles that have plagued Hawaii’s Health Connector were so serious that the previous director had to step down. We wish you and Mr. Matsuda the best in your effort to turn this mess around. It is quite embarrassing for Hawaii, a state which embraced the Affordable Care Act, to have ranked dead last in the nation in December as the worst state-based exchange.

The Hawaii Republican Party believes that government intervention in markets has a long history of unintended consequences, primarily increasing costs to consumers, not lowering them. Social Security and Medicare liabilities are now among the largest contributors to our enormous national debt.  There is no evidence that the "Affordable Care Act" will reduce health insurance costs for most Americans, contrary to the promises President Obama made.  More government interference in health care is not the answer.

Perhaps while President Obama is still in town, we could all get together to discuss the many, many problems the Hawaii Health Connector faces – and find real solutions to provide relief to Hawaii families.

Kayla Berube,

Executive Director,

Hawaii Republican Party



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