Editorial | Off the News Procrastination can be costly By Star-Advertiser staff Dec. 18, 2015 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Procrastination is rarely a good idea. For thousands of Hawaii residents who failed to re-enroll in “Obamacare” health plans by Thursday’s extended deadline, they will suffer loss or lapse of medical coverage and possible tax penalties of at least $695. Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Procrastination is rarely a good idea. For thousands of Hawaii residents who failed to re-enroll in “Obamacare” health plans by Thursday’s extended deadline, they will suffer loss or lapse of medical coverage and possible tax penalties of at least $695. The failed Hawaii Health Connector caused much of the current confusion. When the state health exchange went belly up, its estimated 24,000 enrollees were forced to re-enroll for coverage via the federal exchange, healthcare.gov, by mid-December. According to the latest figures, 16,000 people stand to be uninsured after this month. They can still enroll at healthcare.gov, but their insurance will be interrupted, with coverage to start sometime in the new year. Hawaii still on military’s radar We have lost U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, but we haven’t lost all federal largesse in the area where his influence loomed large: defense spending. Miliary-related expenditures here are expected to increase next year by $200 million over last year as part of congressional spending bill approved by leadership this week, according to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. Federal money is also coming in for non-military needs as well, including $250 million for rail transit, $16.7 million for the East-West Center and $13.7 million for Native Hawaiian health care. Coming on the heels of rosy growth forecasts for the tourism and construction industries, there’s reason to be optimistic about our economic fortunes for 2016. Previous Story Sun Yat-sen’s park gets a makeover Next Story How will president deal with influx of drones?