Hawaii health care faces federal threat


HONOLULU (AP) — Janice Nakamura knows the financial burden of going without health care, and she's thankful for the Hawaii law that strictly mandates expansive, employer-provided coverage for her and her family.

The Nakamuras are among the 763,000 Hawaii residents — more than half the state's population — who rely on a unique, longstanding system that has been jeopardized by the federal health care overhaul.

With the state-run health exchange running out of money, state officials have been left with a difficult choice.

They can continue to support the system at the expense of taxpayers, or turn over control of the insurance marketplace to the federal government at the risk of unravelling the state's comprehensive Prepaid Health Care Act.

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