David Ige on Health Care
I will seek to correct an error of the current Governor, who failed to request regulatory flexibility for the requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act that weaken Hawai'i's Prepaid Health Care Law. Our Hawai'i Health Connector received a $205 million grant from the federal government, but has been a disaster. The Connector unworkable on the day it was scheduled to start, and, nine months later, the Connector has enrolled less than 1% of the population. There are better alternatives to covering Hawai'i's uninsured residents.
IGE: Last year Hawaii became the first state in the country to enact a plan for handling unfunded liabilities for the State Employer Union Health Benefits Trust Fund.
ABERCROMBIE: The Employer-Union Trust Fund (EUTF) has never been prefunded until my administration came into office. With our financial turnaround of the state's finances, we've started to put money back into the EUTF to address its unfunded liabilities. Working with the Legislature, we passed Act 268 in 2013 to statutorily establish an annual required contribution. Hawaii was one of the first states to really address the unfunded liability for Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB).
"In other words, the legislature created the Health Connector. All I can do is execute what the legislature tells me to do," Abercrombie responded.
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