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Aloha State ObamaCare Meltdown

- February 27, 2014

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Just A Few Months Ago, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie Was Predicting “Hawaii Will Be Among The First, If Not The First In The Nation To Fully Accommodate The Affordable Care Act.” ABERCROMBIE: “So I want to acknowledge all those who have put in countless numbers of hours to meet the federal requirements, to work together in a collaborative basis, to meet the deadlines.  To assure that Hawaii will be among the first, if not the first, in the nation to fully accommodate the Affordable Care Act and its implementation.” (Neil Abercrombie, Press Conference, 9/17/13)

IN REALITY, HAWAII’S OBAMACARE EXCHANGE IS ONE OF THE WORST IN THE COUNTRY

After Receiving $205 Million In Federal Grants, Hawaii’s Flawed ObamaCare Website Has Enrolled Just 4,300 People. “But even with $205 million in federal grants, the state’s exchange has been mired in technical problems that have kept enrollment the lowest among the 50 states -- just 4,300 as of mid-February.” (Maeve Reston, “Grim Scenario For Hawaii's Obamacare Plan: The Numbers Don't Add Up,” Los Angeles Times, 2/27/14)

Due To The “Anemic Enrollment,” The Hawaii Health Connector Will Not Be Able To Pay Its Bills When Federal Grant Money Dries Up Next Year. “As the Hawaii Legislature weighs bills that would make sweeping changes to the state’s Obamacare program, the interim director of Hawaii's healthcare exchange on Wednesday laid out a grim financial picture facing the agency.  With anemic enrollment by individuals and little interest among small-business employers, the state’s nonprofit exchange -- known as the Hawaii Health Connector -- is unlikely to have enough money to pay its bills, even under the best of circumstances, when federal grant money dries up in 2015.” (Maeve Reston, “Grim Scenario For Hawaii's Obamacare Plan: The Numbers Don't Add Up,” Los Angeles Times, 2/27/14)

The Hawaii Health Connector Is Financed By A 2% Fee On Each Plan Sold – Not Nearly Enough With Hawaii’s Extremely Low Enrollment. “The exchange had originally planned to stay afloat by collecting a 2% fee on every plan sold through the exchange, but with the slow pace of enrollment and changing federal rules -- delaying the employer mandate and allowing canceled plans to continue -- Interim Director Tom Matsuda said Wednesday that the math simply does not add up.  Last week, Matsuda and the Health Connector’s board members used expected enrollments by 2016, as well as the average premium costs, to calculate how much the exchange could collect by exacting its 2% fee on each plan.” (Maeve Reston, “Grim Scenario For Hawaii's Obamacare Plan: The Numbers Don't Add Up,” Los Angeles Times, 2/27/14)

The Connector 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)

Now Legislators Are Considering Tacking An Additional Tax On Every Insurance Plan Sold In Hawaii To Finance The ObamaCare Connector. “Legislators are also considering adding a “sustainability fee” to every health insurance plan sold in the state, with the money going to pay for the Health Connector’s operations.” (Maeve Reston, “Grim Scenario For Hawaii's Obamacare Plan: The Numbers Don't Add Up,” Los Angeles Times, 2/27/14)

ALL THIS IS BAD NEWS FOR NEIL ABERCROMBIE, WHO FACES A TOUGH REELECTION RACE

A Poll Released Last Week By The Honolulu Star Advertiser and Hawaii News Now Shows Abercrombie Trailing Former Lieutenant Governor James “Duke” Aiona By Eight Points – 40 Percent To 48 Percent. (Ward Research Poll, 642 RV, 3.9% MoE, 2/1-11/14)

Abercrombie’s Net Approval Rating Is -3 – 45 Percent Of Hawaiians Have A Favorable Opinion Of Him And 48 Percent Have An Unfavorable Opinion. (Ward Research Poll, 642 RV, 3.9% MoE, 2/1-11/14)

Aiona Boasts A Net +32 Approval Rating – 58 Percent Of Hawaiians Have A Favorable Opinion Of Him And 26 Percent Have An Unfavorable Opinion. (Ward Research Poll, 642 RV, 3.9% MoE, 2/1-11/14)

 


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