'We Never Needed It': Hawaii's $205M ObamaCare System on Life Support
Federal taxpayers poured more than $205 million into Hawaii's ObamaCare insurance exchange, but now the system is struggling to stay afloat.
The Hawaii Health Connector is a private non-profit organization that was authorized by the state to handle enrollment for residents.
But the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services restricted grant funds after the system was out of compliance due to ongoing IT issues and fiscal instability.
Fox News reported:
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.
Hawaii's former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona told Greta Van Susteren tonight that the system "didn't work from day one" and that it's just been a "fiasco."
Aiona said that a report released earlier this year revealed how some of the money was wasted.
He said that a $59,000 contract with an IT company actually cost taxpayers $23 million, but the system's issues weren't fixed.
"We didn't need the connector from day one Greta," Aiona said. "That's the bottom line. We never needed it. It was driven by politics and nothing more."
Watch the video above.
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