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S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) released a statement earlier this week that should make every South Carolina taxpayer sick to their stomach.

In its statement, SCDHHS boasted that it had “met its promise” to add 65,000 eligible” children to South Carolina’s already soaring Medicaid rolls – whether these people want to become government dependents or not.

“This is the latest in a series of efforts by SCDHHS to improve the health of children – a priority of Gov. Nikki R. Haley’s administration since she took office in 2011,” the agency noted.  “Earlier this year the South Carolina General Assembly approved the governor’s request and appropriated $29 million to SCDHHS to improve enrollment statistics.”

Translation? Haley’s cabinet agency requested – and received – $30 million to spend on a “go for broke” effort to add as many new Medicaid beneficiaries as it possibly could.

“Obamacare by Nikki begins,” one Republican House member told FITS.

The agency’s justification for this latest expansion?  That South Carolina “ranked (fifth) from the bottom nationally for its percentage of insured children (13 percent).”

Really?  Last time we checked, a whopping 43 percent of South Carolina children were on Medicaid while 52 percent of all live births in the state were covered by the taxpayers.  All told, more than 1.1 million South Carolinians – or nearly a quarter of our state’s population – received Medicaid services last year.

That’s an astounding number … and the main reason why Palmetto State taxpayers are being forced to shell out larger and larger sums of cash on state government’s assorted Medicaid bureaucracies.

South Carolina’s costly Medicaid expansion isn’t likely to end here, either.  S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell (RINO-Charleston) is currently working behind the scenes to see that enough “Republicans” join Democrats in supporting the massive Medicaid expansion associated with “Obamacare.”  In fact a source close to Harrell confirmed just this week that he was still working to make sure an estimated 15-17 “Republicans” break ranks and vote to “opt in” to the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

Wait … South Carolina “Republicans” endorsing an Obamacare entitlement expansion?

“(Harrell supporters) will have their work cut out, but that’s not beyond the realm of possibility,” our source said.

Harrell has pushed back angrily at the notion that he is supporting this controversial measure.

SCDHHS received a pair of $100 million bailouts last year (here and here) – part of an eventual $225 million shortfall.  That prompted lawmakers to demand an audit of Haley’s Medicaid agency – which produced some truly frightening numbers.

According to the audit, SCDHHS saw its total expenditures increase by a whopping 26 percent from fiscal year 2007-08 to 2010-11. Not only did the state’s Medicaid population increase by 18 percent over that time period, but the per capita cost of providing for them also shot up (from $6,496 to $6,915 per month for each Medicaid enrollee).

Yeah … we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, “we’ve already got socialized medicine in South Carolina.” And it’s “Republicans” like Bobby Harrell and Nikki Haley who continue to expand it.  Remember that the next time you hear these politicians rail against the evils of Obamacare.