Mind you, both the state Obamacare exchange AND the governor deserve it.
The state Obamacare exchange for not working, and the governor for contributing to the general lack of function. For those who missed the original story: Hawaii, like many other Democratic controlled states*, produced its own state exchange. And, like many other Democratic-controlled states, the exchange has crashed, burned, exploded, sunk below the waves, and then exploded again. Just in time, I might add, for the 2014 election cycle, which amusingly enough is a midterm – which means that most of the governors’ races are taking place this November.
Hence Gov. Abercrombie’s prominent placement in this RGA ad. Under his tenure the Hawaii Obamacare exchange has signed up a dismal 8,500 people (at a cost of just under $24,000 per person); and there’s been a good deal of talk about how Hawaii taxpayers will need to put up even more tax money to make the system work. It’s hard to get a feel for the Hawaii electoral situation – all the polling on this race is old – but Hawaii already has a pretty high tax burden as it is. I’m sure sure that you can legitimately expect the voters to be happy to subsidize more of Neil Abercrombie’s bad judgment. Certainly the eventual GOP nominee will be happy to make that point.
I’ll finish up by noting that there’s another race over in Oregon that might be affected by the same set of conditions that are now complicating Abercrombie’s life in Hawaii, and it’s not necessarily the Senate one. John Kitzhaber rather badly wants a fourth term; and John Kitzhaber, of course, presided over the utter wreck that was Oregon’s Obamacare exchange. Polling there is a little more recent, and it does show that Kitzhaber is just under 50%… among registered voters. The nominee there is state representative Dennis Richardson, and while it’s not going to be an easy race it’s not impossible, either: Richardson expects that various regulatory and investigative agencies will be doing a bit of his campaigning for him. Which is only fair: after all, a fish rots from the head down.
*Hawaii is very Democratic controlled. How much so? Let me put it this way: the ad showed a news report referring to state Senator Sam Slom (he’s calling for an investigation into the problems with the exchange). They could have just as easily labeled him the Senate Minority Caucus.
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