‘Huge changes’ likely for troubled exchange
|By Kristen Consillio, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The three top gubernatorial candidates, vying to replace the defeated Abercrombie, agree the state should radically revise the Connector or shut it down.
"The Health Connector's gone either way," said
Abercrombie, who lost his bid for re-election on
Now the criticism of the Connector is unanimous among Abercrombie's potential successors.
"There are provisions in the ACA that make absolutely no sense in
Ige said he would work with the Connector board and Legislature to seek other options to cover the roughly 75,000 currently uninsured -- or 5.5 percent of the population.
Aiona echoed the senator's sentiments, saying the online marketplace created by Obamacare has been "an unfortunate mishap for our state."
"We cannot afford more of the same, especially at the cost of
Hannemann said the Connector program was "driven by politics" and that federal dollars used to build the ailing system is "still accountable to
"If our health care system's not broke, don't fix it," he said. "The politicization of what was already a sound, functioning health care system has not benefited the people of
Adding momentum to the criticism of the Connector, the state's dominant health insurer,
HMSA said it will continue to offer plans to individuals on the exchange.
The insurer said it committed an "extraordinary amount of human resources" -- nearly 8,000 hours of staff time -- to helping the Connector with technical and customer service problems that are ongoing.
"It's become clear that
HMSA also said it will pay
HMSA joins several smaller
The next governor will be left in a quandary when he inherits the problematic exchange and the task of finding a way to cover the remaining uninsured in
"You can have all the rhetoric in the world about what a crappy system it is and how come we had to pay so much, but the fact of the matter is you have to afford a way for these people to get coverage," she said. "It's not a problem that's going to go away and not a problem that's amenable to simple solutions."
From its inception, the exchange has been a black eye for the state and Abercrombie. It failed to launch on
What's more, Connector interim executive director
A less supportive governor coupled with HMSA's decision to pull out of the SHOP exchange could be the final nail in the coffin for the troubled Connector, Moore said.
"This is the death blow to the exchange," the UH assistant professor said. "If Abercrombie had stayed, maybe he would've tried to patch things up. I don't think the exchange has any friends left in town."
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