From Fox News.
Federal taxpayers dumped more than $205 million into Hawaii’s ObamaCare insurance exchange, but after a steady downward spiral the once-highly praised Hawaii Health Connector is on life support.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has already restricted grant funds to the Hawaii Health Connector, after telling officials in March it was out of compliance with the Affordable Care Act because of fiscal instability and ongoing IT issues.
With state lawmakers also blocking additional funds, the system is struggling to stay afloat. The governor’s office said it is doing what it can to salvage the situation, including approving $30 million to temporarily transition the local portal to the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov — where residents could continue to enroll over the next year while problems with the local site are addressed.
Laurel Johnston, deputy chief of staff for Gov. David Ige, claimed the state will “negotiate the release of federal grant funds” and ensure compliance with the law.
Whether they will succeed remains to be seen. CMS still has to accept the governor’s proposal — and the exchange reportedly is making contingency plans in case the system has to shut down entirely.
The drama has only hardened critics’ concerns that millions of taxpayer dollars are going to waste.
“The $200 million was a complete waste of tax dollars that could have been used for much more productive efforts,” said Reg Baker, a well-known CPA in Hawaii who for many years was the chief financial officer for the health insurance plan, HMAA.
Hawaii is just the latest state that has struggled to sustain its ObamaCare exchange, at great cost to taxpayers, watchdog group Americans for Tax Reform notes.
Despite the government investing $4.5 billion (READ: Taxpayer dollars) into state-run exchanges, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, New Mexico and Nevada shut down their operations.
……Baker said the system is failing “for the same reason most businesses fail — the customers did not see the value of the product they were trying to sell.”
That alone should have given them a clue.