By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
HONOLULU (AP) - A legislative committee has approved a bill related to Hawaii's health exchange. But it removed part of the proposal that would allow the exchange to issue $28 million in debt financing.
Rep. Angus McKelvey says lawmakers are concerned about the state potentially backing the debt using its reserve fund. The committee removed the debt-financing plan from the bill, but McKelvey says the finance committee can decide whether to put it back in and approve the plan.
According to its most recent plan, the Hawaii Health Connector will need about $28 million to maintain operations through 2022.
Hawaii Health Connector CEO Jeff Kissel says that if the debt-financing plan isn't approved, customers won't lose their coverage. But he says it would effectively stop the exchange from enrolling new customers.