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Hawaii bets right on health care ruling

By Associated Press


Hawaii bet correctly the Supreme Court would uphold the bulk of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul but plans a full analysis to see how the lengthy ruling affects plans to implement the law.

The Thursday ruling upheld key provisions including the hotly-debated requirement that nearly every American carry health insurance.

Hawaii Healthcare Transformation Coordinator Beth Giesting told The Associated Press earlier this week that state officials thought about how justices might rule, but kept moving as if would be upheld.

Giesting and Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie planned a news conference to discuss the ruling.

The biggest change for states in the ruling may be in Medicaid. The justices ruled the federal government can expand the program if it doesn't threaten states' entire Medicaid allotment if they don't take part.

Hawaii Health Care Summary:

NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 97,000 state residents are uninsured, or 7.7 percent, according to 2010 U.S. Census data. The rate is the nation's second-lowest.

WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Hawaii had been moving at full speed in anticipation the overhaul will be upheld. It joined several states last year in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the law. Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, said at the time the law preserved the best elements of Hawaii's long-standing health care statutes. The state also used a $300,000 private grant to create a state job for a coordinator to implement the overhaul. Hawaii plans to develop its own insurance exchange, a key component of the federal overhaul.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW: Beth Giesting, the state's Health Care Transformation Coordinator, said earlier this week the Aloha State anticipated different scenarios of how the Supreme Court might rule but expected the law to be upheld and moved forward in that way. Hawaii's most immediate goals under its current administration, she said, are to implement a payment system that focuses on quality care and good outcomes and upgrading the state's technology for health information.

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frontman wrote:
Don't act too fast as 66% of America now know that the only way to get rid of obamacare is to FIRE obama, and the fire to defeat him has just ignighted.
on June 28,2012 | 01:12PM
towngirl wrote:
"Firing" Obama will only result in a different person in office. The law was upheld by a constitutional process. Just because we have a different president doesn't mean all the laws passed during his term are now negated. Besides, what's wrong with our citizens having health care? If Rmoney is elected he has promised he will repeal the law (as illegal as that may be) leaving 3 million people without health care - yeah, that's a great way to treat humans.
on June 28,2012 | 03:48PM
Changalang wrote:
This gives certainty. Small businesses can now dump fines into the exchange and get certainty to their employer provider costs while simultaneously funding the exchanges. Medicaid default for all, without the Fed dumping on the states per CJ Roberts ruling. This is actually the most rational outcome. Going backward would cost. An individual mandate strike down would've been the worst because it would leave the regulations and expenditures without a funding mechanism. Leaving things as they are and taking away the Federal gov't means to hold Hawaii hostage via the Medicaid Federal subsidy is great for us. If we play our cards right, we can exploit an exchange coverage agenda to cover the cost of the Micronesian compact contract that the Feds have been welching on.
on June 28,2012 | 01:57PM
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