S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley tells anyone who will listen that South Carolina will “never” expand Medicaid, but as FITS has exclusively reported her administration is currently ballooning the state’s Medicaid rolls.
Medicaid growth in the coming fiscal year in South Carolina is projected at 16 percent – more than three times the current rate (and more than three times the average growth rate of states NOT accepting the Medicaid expansion associated with Obamacare).
Haley’s administration – which has spent tens of millions of dollars expanding eligibility in South Carolina – is asking for another $450-500 million in tax dollars to pay for this explosion.
Well … more now …
According to The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier, Haley is proposing yet another Medicaid expansion – $44.7 million ($31 million of which is federal money) to enroll 1,010 mentally ill South Carolinians into a variety of bureaucratic programs. Haley is also hoping to bypass the state agency that typically deals with these cases – the S.C. Department of Disabilities and Specials Needs (SCDDSN) – because it is controlled by legislators, not her executive cabinet.
She’s also bypassing two other alphabet soup bureaucracies, the S.C. Department of Mental Health (SCDHM) and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).
Gotta love it right?
Governors and lawmakers battling over a pile of shiny new taxpayer largesse … which, again, is getting stacked on top of the billions of dollars in existing funding received by these agencies each year.
And for what?
South Carolina’s health statistics are abysmal …
Look, we are not unsympathetic to the needs of individuals with mental health issues. But having numerous bureaucracies sit around throwing skyrocketing sums of cash at the problem has not worked.
Nor has “caring” for these individuals via the state’s prisons system …
We thought as a former “Tea Partier” that Haley understood expanding government programs (and broadening the federal government’s reach into South Carolina) was not good policy. This latest Medicaid expansion is further proof she does not.
UPDATE: This website typically calls out mainstream media outlets for their failure to call out Haley’s hypocrisy, but to her credit Post and Courier reporter Lauren Sausser noted that this expansion was “in some ways, an about-face from the 2013 legislative session, during which (SCDHHS director Tony) Keck and Haley were vocal about not spending more federal money on Medicaid.”
“They both adamantly pushed back against heavy political pressure to accept billions of federal dollars to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, arguing that growing the state’s Medicaid roll won’t make the population any healthier,” Sausser reported.