Letter to the Editor – 12/11/13

More than a site

Obamacare is more than a website. As much as I appreciate Roger Simon’s critique of the Obama administration’s implementation of the Federal Healthcare Exchange web-site, Mr. Simon, along with most of the media, have failed to acknowledge how the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) has or will benefit the people of Hawaii and the rest of the country.

In Hawaii, more than 6,000 younger adults are now maintained on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26 years old, because of Obamacare. Nearly 90,000 of Hawaii’s citizens are now eligible to receive insurance who were previously unable to obtain or afford it, because of Obamacare. There are more than 560,000 people in Hawaii who can no longer be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition, because of Obamacare. Nearly 40,000 people in Hawaii can expect to benefit from $1.5 million in insurance refunds this year, because of Obamacare.

Obamacare requirements have benefitted more than 320,000 people in Hawaii by requiring health insurers to provide access without a co-pay to preventive services, such as mammograms, well-child visits, colon cancer screening and vaccines. Obamacare requirements now mandate health insurers to publicly justify insurance premium increases greater than 10 percent. Obamacare requirements ensure con-

tinued insurance access to 462,000 people within Hawaii by preventing health insurers from imposing lifetime spending limits on people with cancer or other chronic disease.

Yes, the Federal Healthcare Exchange implementation to this point has been a debacle, as stated by Mr. Simon. Despite this, we must all remember that Obamacare is more than a website. Obamacare is a health insurance reform program that has or will benefit nearly every person living in Hawaii. Obamacare is an important first step to ensuring that all people in Hawaii and the U.S. have access to affordable and reliable health care.

James Masterson,

Master of Public Health candidate, University of Hawaii

Wrong on Mufi

In his column “Senate Race A Proxy For Governors,” Bob Jones writes: “Mufi Hannemann won a short-term Congress seat only to lose it to Pat Saiki.”

Hannemann never served in the U.S. Congress.

In a 1986 special election, he lost to Neil Abercrombie to fill the short remainder of Cec Heftel’s term in Congress. That same year in the general election, Hannemann was the Democratic nominee, but Republican Pat Saiki won.

Linda Chapman

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