This is a somewhat interesting conversation between Colleen Hanabusa (D, HI-01) and Tom Matsuda (interim director of the Hawaii state exchange)
As the Hawaii Reporter (H/T Jim Geraghty) put it, “U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, said residents of her state are “frustrated and embarrassed” because of the low enrollment in the Obamacare exchange, and “very concerned” about how the $204 million federal Affordable Care Act grant has been allocated and spent.” Basically, half of that money is gone, and Hawaii’s state exchange is one of the more notable disaster stories:
Tom Matsuda, the interim executive director of the Hawaii exchange, said that it had received $205 million in federal grants and enrolled only 7,600 people. That works out to an average of $27,000 for each person enrolled, Republicans said at the hearing, which was held by two panels of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Rep. Hanabusa, by the way, is not a member of the Oversight committee. She called in a favor or laid out a marker to get in on that panel action, and she’s doing it (in my opinion) because Colleen Hanabusa is trying to oust current Senator Schatz in the upcoming Democratic primary. Hanabusa is in extremely rare territory for a Democrat: she doesn’t have to defend Obamacare. She was elected in 2010, after the law was rammed through Congress; and while Schatz was appointed in 2012 he’s had to support Obamacare since then. Add to that the minor detail that Barack Obama has decided to endorse Schatz over Hanabusa and you can understand why we’re seeing a very careful, very measured, distancing of herself from the Congresswoman, here.
And believe me: there are Democrats who would love to emulate her, here.
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