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Tuesday, September 16, 2014
VIDEO: Paradise Lost Thanks to Ige and Abercrombie
By Video @ 6:01 AM :: 4385 Views :: Politicians

Paradise Lost

Duke Aiona: A Vision for Hawaii

David Ige: Part Of The Problem, Not The Solution

News Release from Republican Governors' Association

“Freshly minted Democrat nominee for Governor of Hawaii, State Senator David Ige, is part of the problem, not the solution. Senator Ige demonstrated during the Primary Election that he is no different from Governor Neil Abercrombie, unable to tell voters how he would do anything differently. Staying the course with failed policies that Ige himself help to create, such as the Hawaii Health Connector, is not the leadership that Hawaii needs.” ~ RGA Communications Director Gail Gitcho

Ige Represents More Of The Same, Unable To Differentiate Himself From The Failed Record Of Governor Abercrombie

Recent Campaign Debates Have Highlighted That There Were “Few Major Policy Differences” Between Ige And Abercrombie. “The gubernatorial debate was brought to the Big Island on Wednesday as Gov. Neil Abercrombie squared off against challenger state Sen. David Ige in Waimea. With few major policy differences, both sought to make the case for their leadership abilities and knowledge of neighbor island needs.” (Tom Callis, “Abercrombie, Ige Hold First Big Island Debate,” Hawaii Tribune Herald, 7/24/14)

“But The Primary Rivals Are Split More On Who’s To Blame For Hawaii’s Issues Than They Are On How To Solve Those Problems.” (“Abercrombie, Ige Debate Blame For Hawaii’s Issues,” The Associated Press, 6/24/14)

On A Host Of Issues And “Their Visions Of Hawaii’s Future,” Ige And Abercrombie Offered Very Few Differences During Their Primary Campaign. “A debate between Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state Sen. David Ige on Tuesday revealed few major differences in their visions of Hawaii’s future. Both Democratic candidates want to solve Hawaii’s housing problems, support Native Hawaiian sovereignty and improve the state’s troubled health exchange. They also both want to keep gambling out of Hawaii and improve its public education system.” (“Abercrombie, Ige Debate Blame For Hawaii’s Issues,” The Associated Press, 6/24/14)

University Of Hawaii’s Colin Moore Has Noted A Challenge Facing Ige Is “To Articulate A Different Vision From Gov. Abercrombie.” “‘Gov. Abercrombie was trying to show that he was calm and confident and in charge, and of course Sen. Ige kept saying the same thing he’s been saying throughout the campaign, which is that his administration lacks leadership,’ said University of Hawaii political science professor Colin Moore. Ige used the phrase ‘lack of leadership’ several times during the debate. We asked Moore if the strategy works. ‘He clearly thinks its going to work. And I think the challenge for him in this debate, one that perhaps he really didn’t meet this time was to articulate a different vision from Gov. Abercrombie,’ said Moore.” (Ben Gutierrez, “Abercrombie, Ige Spar In Final Televised Debate On Hawaii News Now,” Hawaii News Now, 7/9/14)

Ige Cosponsored The Legislation Creating Hawaii’s ObamaCare Insurance Exchange – Hawaii Health Connector – Which Has Failed

Ige Cosponsored S.B. 1348, Which Established The Hawaii Health Connector Insurance Exchange Pursuant Of Obamacare.  “Establishes the Hawaii health connector to create a health insurance exchange pursuant to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010; creates Hawaii Health Insurance Exchange under a board of directors; creates board of directors; creates interim board to recommend policies and procedures to implement the governance of the health insurance exchange; appropriates federal funds to support the operations of the interim board of the Hawaii health connector.” (S.B.1348 SD2 HD3 CD1, Introduced 1/26/11)

Hawaii Announced Plans To Build And Operate An ObamaCare Exchange Before Any Other State, But The Exchange “Has Failed In Several Areas.” “To preserve these benefits and show support for President Barack Obama, who championed the law, Hawaii officials decided to build and operate their own health care exchange and announced those plans before any other state. But the Connector has failed in several areas…” (Cathy Bussewitz, “Hawaii Health Care Faces Federal Threat,” The Associated Press, 7/29/14)

The ObamaCare Exchange Has Signed Up Only A Fraction Of The Number Of Predicted Enrollees And Has Fallen Well Short Of Expected Revenues. “It enrolled just 10,800 people, far below the 100,000 that some supporters predicted. This was at least partially because so many residents already insured under Hawaii’s law, officials say. In its first six months, the Connector earned just $40,350 in revenue, falling short of the $320,000 expected.” (Cathy Bussewitz, “Hawaii Health Care Faces Federal Threat,” The Associated Press, 7/29/14)

Hawaii Health Connector Costs 26 Times The National Average

Hawaii Health Connector, Hawaii’s ObamaCare Exchange, Is The Most Expensive In The Country. “Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange, the Hawaii Health Connector, costs the nation’s taxpayers the most per enrollee, according to a new study by Kaiser Health. Hawaii’s exchange, which has just more than 8,500 people registered, has a tab of about $23,899 per person.” (Malia Zimmerman, “Hawaii’s Obamacare Exchange Most Costly In Nation,” Watchdog.org, 5/15/14)

Hawaii’s Enrollment Cost Is 26 Times The National Average And 2 ½ Times The Cost Of The Second Most Expensive State. “Former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, D-Hawaii [sic], noted Hawaii’s enrollment cost is 26 times the national average, 2 1/2 times the cost for the second most expensive state . . . and considerably more than the national average of $922 dollars per Obamacare enrollee.” (Malia Zimmerman, “Hawaii’s Obamacare Exchange Most Costly In Nation,” Watchdog.org, 5/15/14)

“According To The Study, Just 8,500 Hawaii Residents Signed Up For The Hawaii Health Connector, While 150,000 People Are Needed To Make The Program Self-Sustainable.” (Malia Zimmerman, “Hawaii’s Obamacare Exchange Most Costly In Nation,” Watchdog.org, 5/15/14)

After Receiving $204 Million In Federal Money To Set Up The Exchange, Hawaii Health Connector Is Expected To Cost An Additional $15 Million A Year.“Hawaii received $204 million from the federal government to set up the exchange and build and maintain its website. The Obamacare exchange will likely cost Hawaii taxpayers another $15 million a year, according to estimates from state lawmakers.” (Malia Zimmerman, “Hawaii’s Obamacare Exchange Most Costly In Nation,”Watchdog.org, 5/15/14)

Costing Millions In Losses And Increasing Premiums

Hawaii’s Two Largest Health Insurers Reported $36 Million In Losses During The First Quarter, Which They Are Blaming On Fees Required By ObamaCare.“Hawaii’s two largest health insurers are reporting $36 million in losses during the first quarter and blaming it on fees required by the federal Affordable Care Act. The companies said Friday those fees may lead to higher costs for customers.” (“Hawaii Health Insurers Blame Losses On Health Exchange,” KITV, 5/16/14)

  • “Hawaii Medical Services Association Posted Losses Of $30.1 Million In The First Quarter And Said It Recorded $46.1 Million In Fees Related To Obamacare.” (“Hawaii Health Insurers Blame Losses On Health Exchange,”KITV, 5/16/14)
  • “Kaiser Permanente Reports Losing $5.8 Million And Paying $8 Million In Fees.” (“Hawaii Health Insurers Blame Losses On Health Exchange,” KITV, 5/16/14)

“HMSA Spokeswoman Robyn Kuraoka Says The Company Has Proposed Increasing Premiums By An Average Of 13 Percent. Kaiser Spokeswoman Laura Lott Says It’s Too Early To Say Whether The Losses Will Result In Higher Premiums, But Like Any Organization, Kaiser Has To Cover Costs.”(“Hawaii Health Insurers Blame Losses On Health Exchange,” KITV, 5/16/14)

Hawaii’s Largest Health Insurance Company Said Hawaii Needs An “Alternative” ObamaCare Exchange Website “Immediately”

Michael Gold, CEO Of Hawaii’s Largest Health Insurance Company, Said The State Should Shut Down Hawaii Health Connector, Hawaii’s ObamaCare Exchange Website. “The chief executive of Hawaii’s largest health insurance company is calling on Hawaii to shut down its beleaguered health insurance exchange, which was set up as part of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. Michael Gold, president and CEO of Hawaii Medical Services Association, says the state shouldn’t keep spending money on the Hawaii Health Connector, a system that he says is financially unsustainable and does not work.” (Cathy Bussewitz “Insurance CEO: Shut Down Hawaii Health Exchange,” Associated Press, 5/9/14)

  • Gold: “I Think There’s An Alternative That Hawaii Needs To Pursue Immediately.” (Cathy Bussewitz “Insurance CEO: Shut Down Hawaii Health Exchange,” Associated Press, 5/9/14)
  • Gold Said Sustaining The Health Exchange Would Cost The Public Too Much Through Higher Fees Or Taxes. “Gold said trying to sustain the exchange is the wrong approach because it would cost the public too much, either through fees on insurance companies or taxes. ‘The real question is how do you, in a sense, get out from under the Connector, and use the assets that Hawaii has already to get to the aims of the Affordable Care Act?’ Gold said.” (Cathy Bussewitz “Insurance CEO: Shut Down Hawaii Health Exchange,”Associated Press, 5/9/14)
  • Gold Called The Exchange A “Costly Mistake.” “Michael Gold, president and CEO of Hawaii Medical Services Association, told the Associated Press last week the state shouldn’t spend more money on Hawaii Health Connector because it’s financially unsustainable and doesn’t work. He also believes Hawaii should ask the federal government for an exception to the part of the Affordable Care Act that requires states to set up and run their own insurance exchanges, calling Hawaii Health Connector a ‘costly mistake.’” (Malia Zimmerman, “Hawaii’s Obamacare Exchange Most Costly In Nation,”Watchdog.org, 5/15/14)

“Hawaii Should Ask The Federal Government For An Exception To The Part Of The Affordable Care Act That Requires States To Set Up And Run Their Own Insurance Exchanges, Gold Said.” (Cathy Bussewitz “Insurance CEO: Shut Down Hawaii Health Exchange,” Associated Press, 5/9/14)

“[Gold] Thinks Businesses Should Buy Approved Plans Directly From Insurance Companies, As They Have Done In The Past. Individuals Would Do The Same, Or The Federal Government Could Take Over That Part Of The Exchange, He Said.” (Cathy Bussewitz “Insurance CEO: Shut Down Hawaii Health Exchange,” Associated Press, 5/9/14)

Hawaii Is Pursuing A Streamlined Exchange And Seeking Waivers From The Federal Government. “The state already is pursuing ways to streamline the exchange by removing it as the middle-man between employers and insurers, and seeking waivers from the federal government, said Beth Giesting, health care transformation coordinator for Gov. Neil Abercrombie.” (Cathy Bussewitz “Insurance CEO: Shut Down Hawaii Health Exchange,” Associated Press, 5/9/14)

Hawaii Health Connector Spent $100 Million Of The $200 Million In Federal Funds It Received. “The rollout of Hawaii’s health exchange was delayed and plagued with technical problems. The Connector was awarded more than $200 million in federal funds. It has used about $100 million. It signed up 9,217 individuals, plus 628 employees and dependents. To date, the Connector has raised only $40,350 in user fees, according to Nathan Hokama, the exchange’s spokesman.” (Cathy Bussewitz “Insurance CEO: Shut Down Hawaii Health Exchange,” Associated Press, 5/9/14)

  • “The Exchange Has To Make Deep Cuts And Renegotiate Contracts To Survive, Tom Matsuda, Interim Director Of The Hawaii Health Connector, Has Said. Lawmakers Sent A Bill Approving $1.5 Million In State Support — Far Less Than What The Exchange Asked For — To Gov. Neil Abercrombie.” (Cathy Bussewitz “Insurance CEO: Shut Down Hawaii Health Exchange,” Associated Press, 5/9/14)

Hawaii’s ObamaCare Exchange Website Continued To Experience Problems – Even After Receiving $205 Million In Taxpayer Dollars

After Enduring A Launch Delay, Hawaii’s ObamaCare Exchange Continues To Be Riddled With Software Glitches. “The Hawaii exchange has had problems from its start, including software problems and a delay in open enrollment that led some people to skip the exchange altogether and buy plans directly from insurance companies in anticipation of a March 31 coverage deadline under President Barack Obama’s federal health care overhaul.” (Cathy Bussewitz, “Hawaii Lawmakers Question Health Exchange’s Leader,” The Associated Press, 3/14/14)

  • Hawaii Received $205 Million To Build Its Error Ridden ObamaCare Exchange. “The state received more than $205 million in federal money to build a health insurance exchange to serve those still uninsured.” (Maeve Reston, “Hawaii Health Market Doesn’t Connect,” Los Angeles Times, 2/26/14)

Due To Low Enrollments, Hawaii Lawmakers “Are Proposing A Fee To Insurers” To Prop Up The “Financially Troubled” Exchange. “Hawaii lawmakers are proposing charging a fee to insurers that are not participating in the state’s insurance exchange under President Barack Obama’s federal health care overhaul. The fee would help prop up the financially troubled Hawaii Health Connector. The exchange has enough money to cover its bills for this year – but not beyond that, without some help.” (Cathy Bussewitz, “Lawmakers Propose Fees For Hawaii Health Exchange,” The Associated Press, 3/11/14)

The Exchange Will Be Unable To Finance Itself Even Under The “Best-Case Scenario” For Enrollments Moving Forward. “‘That revenue figure is far below what we think our expenses are going to be,’ said Matsuda, who has estimated that the agency will need about $15 million a year starting in 2015. Health Connector board members also looked at the best-case scenario for enrollment, and ‘even then, we’re still short on having enough revenue to cover projected expenses,’ he said.” (Maeve Reston, “Grim Scenario For Hawaii’s Obamacare Plan: The Numbers Don’t Add Up,” Los Angeles Times, 2/27/14)

Hawaii Health Exchange Officials Have Stone-Walled The Press From Learning The Full Extent Of Exchange’s Problems. “For the last two months, health care program officials — in response to records requests from the Los Angeles Times — have declined to release anything but a nine-line summary of the current year’s budget. On Saturday they produced another summary for the 2013-14 fiscal year, which they also provided to lawmakers.” (Maeve Reston, “Hawaii Health Market Doesn’t Connect,” Los Angeles Times, 2/26/14)


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