Friday, June 3, 2011

Veto demonstration today for SB 1274


Please show your support for the Governor's veto of SB 1274, by attending a rally today at 3:30 at the Capitol.

Parking is under the Capitol Building.  The entry is off of Punchbowl, mauka of South Beretania ½ block, across the street from The Queen’s Medical Center, past the DOE parking entry to a street you can see takes you down underneath South Beretania.  Parking takes quarters. There is a change machine at the building entrance.  Take the elevators to your right up to the 1st floor.

The update from Rafael del Castillo on June 1:
Meanwhile, we are getting some strong support from some dedicated folks working behind the scenes.  I hand carried a letter to the Governor’s office yesterday which uses the technical guidance issued by the CCIIO (Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight which has responsibility for reviewing state laws) that gives assurances they will “work with” states before issuing any compliance lists prior to July 1 in the case of any state where they have concerns about the state external review law.  As you know, CCIIO has never made any move to “work with” Hawaii.  Quite the contrary.

I also drafted a suggested letter for the Governor to send to Asst. Secretary Phyllis Borzi, who is in charge of the Employment Benefits Security Administration at the Dept. of Labor, requesting a determination whether most of Hawaii’s now-excluded ERISA plans will no longer be excluded from our external review after the Affordable Care Act. The reason the Governor needs to ask that question is no one knows the answer for sure.  Even so, the legislators who voted for SB1274 ASSUMED (and everyone knows what the letters stand for) ERISA would continue to be excluded.  With all due respect to our legislators, I question whether their aggregate knowledge of ERISA adds up to 1% of what Phyllis Borzi knows, but none of them consulted her or anyone else at DOL (nor had our Insurance Commissioner before them).  I at least hope that our Governor will go to the trouble of doing so instead of accepting an assumption about a highly technical legal issue.

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I'm the mom of a child with disabilities. Hannah's first neurologist said she might never develop beyond the level of a 2 month old infant, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. The brain damage was just too severe. Nine years later, she walks, uses a touchscreen computer and I've just been shown she can learn to construct sentences and do simple math with the right piece of technology. Along the way, I discovered I needed to teach myself what Hannah's rights to services really were. Learning about early intervention services led to reading about IDEA and then to EPSDT. I've been waiting for the Obama administration to realize the power and potential of EPSDT for the medical rights - including the right to stay at home with their families - of children with disabilities. The health reform people talk about long term care, and the disability people talk about education and employment, but nobody is talking about EPSDT. So I am.