With Congress poised to reconcile the Senate and House versions of national health care reform legislation, this is a critical time for the people of Hawaii to understand why neither bill is good for our state or nation.
To begin with, both versions of health care reform would impose massive unfunded mandates on state governments. Some of the costliest mandates for Hawaii are in Medicaid.
Because we fund Medicaid with both federal and matching state dollars, expanding eligibility and benefits would cost Hawaii taxpayers, conservatively, more than $300 million over five years.
In Hawaii, we have some of America’s most generous Medicaid programs