Activists want answers about Medicaid funding

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU- (KHNL) Community activists are prescribing a direct plan for Governor Linda Lingle to release crucial Medicaid funds to ease the financial burden on hospitals and doctors.

Doctors say they were promised eight million dollars in Medicaid funds and even though it's been federally approved, they're frustrated why the money hasn't been released to medical providers.

You go to your doctor to get better when you're sick, but who helps the hospitals? Activists are pleading with the governor to not let this important action sit in the waiting room any longer.

For more than 50 activists with the Faith Action for Community Group (FACE), demands to release millions in Medicaid funds are just what the doctor ordered.

They're counting down the days until Governor Lingle releases 8 million dollars in Medicaid, which will send an additional 4.5 million in matching Federal funds to the state.

"The public is fairly unaware of the crisis and so it's like an undertow suddenly they'll be swept under without knowing what hit them," said Bob Nakata.

FACE Leaders say Medicaid patients are suffering, doctors aren't getting reimbursed. They say if Governor Lingle doesn't release the additional 8 million dollars in Medicaid funds they may loose it all by the end of the month. A disappearing act that could be detrimental to Hawaii's Healthcare.

Chief of Staff Dr. Rodney Boychuk at Kapi'olani Medical Center says right now it's costing doctors more to see patients than they get paid.

5-year-old Jordan relies on the treatment of his care providers, but because the funds aren't there to pay them, two of his specialists will no longer be able to treat him.