David Ige
David Ige
David Ige

REPORT FROM THE HAWAII GOP – HONOLULU – A public hearing today to address the continuing fiscal emergency with the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) is another example of Governor Neil Abercrombie and Senator David Ige’s record of failed policies. This past legislative session, Senator Ige voted for and Governor Abercrombie signed the measure that lead to the problems facing patients in Hawaii today.

“Governor Abercrombie and Senator Ige’s failed policies and leadership are unfortunately on display once more. With another fiscal emergency and the highest cost of living burdening those who need help most, it’s clear middle-class families need a new direction from the past four years.” –Ted Kwong, Hawaii Republican Party Communications Advisor

BACKGROUND:

“A public hearing by the state House Health Committee is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at Kona Community Hospital in Kealakekua.” (“House Health panel to meet in Kona,” Hawaii Tribune-Herald, 9/21/14)

On Friday, HHSC Officials Announced The Layoffs Were Not Enough To Cover The Budget Shortfall. “Hawaii’s public hospitals warned lawmakers Friday of significant cuts or, in the worst-case scenario, closures as early as next year if the state doesn’t release more funds for the troubled facilities. Officials of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp., comprising 12 facilities and other affiliates, told Health Committee members that despite layoffs and other cost-cutting measures, the hospitals still estimate they will have a $30 million deficit in 2015.” (Kristen Consillio, “Funding shortfall could close public isle hospitals, officials warn,” Honolulu Star Advertiser, 9/20/14)

As A Result, Services To Patients Are Being Cut. “One hospital on Maui chose to close its adolescent psychology unit because it couldn’t sustain the appropriate staffing levels to provide the services. It’s also considering cuts to oncology and dialysis services if the situation doesn’t improve.” (Cathy Bussewitz, “Hawaii public hospitals dealing with $30M deficit,” Associated Press, 9/20/14)

“On Oahu, a long-term care facility will be out of cash in May and unable to make payroll payments, said Derek Akiyoshi, CEO for the Oahu region of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. It is ending its adult day health care on Saturdays. ‘Ultimately our core long-term care services will have to be eliminated,’ Akiyoshi said.” (Cathy Bussewitz, “Hawaii public hospitals dealing with $30M deficit,” Associated Press, 9/20/14)

As Chairman Of Ways And Means, Ige Purposefully Underfunded State Hospitals, Directly Resulting In This Fiscal Crisis. “The reason the HHSC doesn’t have enough money is because the 2014 state Legislature stopped giving the hospitals emergency subsidies. Over the years the subsidies have increased and become such a regular part of the yearly budget process it is difficult to understand why the request is always included as an emergency. State Rep. Bert Kobayashi, a former administrator of the hospital system, says this year the Legislature purposely decided not to fund the HHSC’s entire request.” (Richard Borreca, “State’s public hospitals in dire need of attention,” Honolulu Star Advertiser, 8/29/14)

Ige Supported The Funding Measure That Governor Abercrombie Signed Into Law. (SB2866 SD1 HD1 CD1, capitol.hawaii.gov, Accessed 8/31/14)

The Problem Is So Dire, Other Democrat Leaders Are Calling For An Emergency Special Session. “House Speaker Joe Souki is asking the House Health and Finance committees to meet up with their Senate counterparts for an emergency public hearing to figure out what to do. ‘We need a correction rapidly,’ Souki said in an interview, adding that he would like to see the Legislature go into a special session on the hospital situation.” (Richard Borreca, “State’s public hospitals in dire need of attention,” Honolulu Star Advertiser, 8/29/14)

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