On Way Back from France, Abercrombie heads to D.C. for alleged shutdown talks
HNN October 15, 2013: Unlike some other states, Hawaii isn't using state or private funds to reopen national parks and monuments to visitors.
"The state just can't write a check to a federal employee to pay their salary or their benefits. There's questions of liability. What if something goes wrong or somebody doesn't do their job correctly?" said Abercrombie.
The governor plans to return to Hawaii on October 20. His visit was added on to a previously scheduled personal trip to the East Coast. (East Coast? He was in France. Hello?)
According to his office, there is no cost to taxpayers. (Translation: The State was already planning to pay for Abercrombie R/T to NYC because of the bogus 'meeting' with lenders that he pretended to hold on his way to France.)
Related: Feds Shutdown? Obamacare a Mess? Abercrombie Secretly Vacations in France
2010: Congress.org: "Abercrombie is a follower" (Translation: Congress didn't care about Neil when he was elected, why would they care about him now?)
read ... No Cost to taxpayers? Really? (That claim would be more impressive if HNN didn't omit the bit about vacationing in France.)
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News Release from Office of the Lt Governor October 15, 2013
With the federal government shutdown now in its third week, Gov. Neil Abercrombie departed Tuesday for Washington, D.C. to work with Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation and former colleagues on the Hill on the continuation of federally funded services and programs.
Currently, Abercrombie’s schedule includes meetings with Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono on Wednesday, followed by meetings with Reps. Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard on Thursday.
Abercrombie has spoken with each of the four mayors regarding concerns about federally funded programs and employee positions in their respective counties, and he will include their input in discussions in Washington.
The intention is to form a coordinated effort by county, state and federal levels of government to address the issues as they arise.
This trip is an addition to the governor’s personal travel to the East Coast that had been previously arranged.
Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui will be acting governor during the governor’s travel time.
Abercrombie is expected to return to the islands Oct. 20.
October 2, 2013: Governor Abercrombie sent out a news release this afternoon ostensibly to commiserate over the Federal government shutdown and the failure to launch of the Hawaii Health Connector. Here's something he left out:
Sept 27, 2013: Abercrombie, Wife Flee to France
CB: On Friday (Sept. 27), the governor and his wife Nancie Caraway will travel to France. The governor is back in Hawaii Oct. 11. Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui will be acting governor until then.
read ... Special Session? He'll be back for THAT!
And here is the news release, edited to include accurate geographic references:
Governor Comments on Federal Government Shutdown
News Release from Office of the Governor Oct 1, 2013
Gov. Neil Abercrombie recently met with bond purchasers and major credit rating agencies in Los Angeles and New York to confirm Hawaii’s solid fiscal condition. While meeting with the credit agencies, it was clear to them that the shutdown of the federal government could have serious detrimental effects on the economies for all states. The federal shutdown could also compromise much of the accomplishments that Hawaii has achieved in the past few years emerging from the economic recession.
(Funny, he didn't mention that he held these 'meetings' on his way to vacation in Paris, France. Having some work-related justification for travel to both LA and NYC probably creates an excuse for the taxpayers to pick up his tab on these legs of the trip.)
Gov. Abercrombie stated:
“The State of Hawaii cannot substitute for the federal government nor assume its obligations. However, with the report from the Sequestration Impact Response Team in hand, resources funded this past legislative session, and the readiness of all departments in the administration to respond to the shutdown, we are confident in our ability to address immediate contingencies. It is the clear responsibility of Congress to end the shutdown as quickly as possible and to meet continuously until that is accomplished. (I may be in France on vacation, but you Congress people better get to work.)”
State Unveils New Medicaid Eligibility & Enrollment System in Conjunction with Hawaii Health Connector Launch
Gov. Abercrombie commended the Hawaii Health Connector and the many state employees who have worked diligently to launch the online health insurance exchange today as mandated by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
A new Medicaid eligibility and enrollment system is an important component of the health insurance exchange, overseen by the Department of Human Services, which successfully launched the new system today. Individuals can now apply for Medicaid coverage via the new portal, www.mybenefits.hawaii.gov. The Med-QUEST Division can receive Medicaid applications and return eligibility determinations, in many cases, the very next day. Upgrades scheduled for later this year will allow for same-day determinations and electronic document submission.
Gov. Abercrombie stated:
“This is a work in progress and the state is monitoring the situation at the Hawaii Health Connector. I believe, like other health exchanges across the nation, the Connector will roll out improvements to its system in phases and provide the public with key information.
“As for the DHS Med-QUEST staff, I am very proud of them for the monumental task they accomplished in just eight months. They worked tirelessly to build, test and launch the new online Medicaid eligibility system, and are ready for business.”
"(Laissez les Bon Temps Roulez!)"
Bonus Book Review: The Segregated Sisterhood of Neil Abercrombie and Nancie Caraway