How SCOTUS health care ruling affects Hawaii

Glance: How SCOTUS upholding health care law affects Hawaii; where nearly 8 percent uninsured

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) -- NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 97,000 state residents are uninsured, or 7.7 percent, according to 2010 U.S. Census data. The rate is the nation's second-lowest.

WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Hawaii had been moving at full speed in anticipation the overhaul will be upheld. It joined several states last year in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the law. Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, said at the time the law preserved the best elements of Hawaii's long-standing health care statutes. The state also used a $300,000 private grant to create a state job for a coordinator to implement the overhaul. Hawaii plans to develop its own insurance exchange, a key component of the federal overhaul.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW: Beth Giesting, the state's Health Care Transformation Coordinator, said earlier this week the Aloha State anticipated different scenarios of how the Supreme Court might rule but expected the law to be upheld and moved forward in that way. Hawaii's most immediate goals under its current administration, she said, are to implement a payment system that focuses on quality care and good outcomes and upgrading the state's technology for health information.

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