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PALMETTO STATE WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN GOVERNMENT “MARKET”

South Carolina will not participate in one of the health care insurance exchanges created by U.S. President Barack Obama’s socialized medicine monstrosity.

The Palmetto State “should not and will not set up a state-based health care exchange,” Gov. Nikki Haley announced this week.

Obamacare exchanges would allow newly created state government bureaucracies to organize and regulate the way insurers sell policies to customers – a costly, anti-free market way of providing health care.  The exchanges are scheduled to open until October 1, 2013 – but states were given a November 16 deadline to announce their intention to participate.  That deadline has since been pushed back to December 14.

Earlier this year, the White House claimed that “28 States and the District of Columbia (were) on their way toward establishing their own Affordable Insurance Exchange.”

It’s now looking like the administration may not hit that mark – which would represent a major dent in Obamacare’s fiscal impact.

Initially it seemed as though “Republicans” in South Carolina were going to try and slip an Obamacare exchange through the back door.  Legislation creating the exchanges was on the fast track in the S.C. House of Representatives, and S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley  signed an executive order creating the “South Carolina Health Care Exchange Planning Committee,” an entity funded with Obamacare dollars.

Haley is tight with the Heritage Foundation – which initially advised states to create what it called “defensive” Obamacare exchanges (to its credit Heritage later reversed course).

Fortunately Tea Partiers caught wind of all this and threatened to vote out GOP lawmakers who supported it.

Thirteen “Republicans” – Reps. Rita Allison, Liston Barfield, Doug Brannon, Danny Cooper, Nelson Hardwick, Bill Herbkersman, Jenny Horne, Chip Huggins, Jay Lucas, Dwight Loftis, Phil Owens, Steve Parker and Mike Pitts – were originally signed on as co-sponsors of the exchange bill.  Not surprisingly, most of them ran for the hills as soon as their support for the legislation became public knowledge.

Our position on these exchanges has been unambiguous.

“We oppose any move to create a government-run health care exchange in South Carolina – just as we opposed Obamacare itself,” we wrote last March.

While this fight has been won, another battle looms regarding Obamacare’s costly Medicaid expansion.

Haley has said that she will opposed this expansion, although her S.C. Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) has been aggressively adding people to the state’s Medicaid rolls on its own.

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