SC

SC Medicaid Expansion: Death By Degrees

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s record on health care spending is far from perfect. She approved more than $200 million in deficit spending at her S.C. Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) during her first two years in office, and is backing a massive $83 million expansion of Medicaid spending…

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s record on health care spending is far from perfect. She approved more than $200 million in deficit spending at her S.C. Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) during her first two years in office, and is backing a massive $83 million expansion of Medicaid spending in the coming fiscal year.

Not only that, Haley has already spent more than $60 million on a bid to expand the state’s Medicaid population – and wants to spend additional money to expand that population further.

Health care spending in the Palmetto State is out of control … and Haley has done nothing to stop it.

Still, Haley has (to her credit) rejected the broader Medicaid expansion associated with U.S. President Barack Obama’s socialized medicine law – which aims to enroll another 500,000 South Carolinians in the program. The federal government (which is currently $16.6 trillion in debt) would “pay for” most of the costs associated with the expansion, but state government’s percentage would total hundreds of millions of dollars annually by 2020.

States get to choose whether they accept this new spending or not, though, one of the few bright spots of the otherwise disastrous U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare.

More than 1.1 million South Carolinians (roughly a quarter of the state’s population) received Medicaid benefits last year. Meanwhile 43 percent of the state’s children and 52 percent of its live births are covered by the program. That’s crazy, people. More to the point, though, if our state and nation were truly “recovering” wouldn’t we be making plans to reduce those rolls? And to cut the spending associated with them?

Hmmmm …

S.C. Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D-Camden) – who is likely to challenge Haley for the governor’s office in 2014 – believes the state should take the “free money” associated with Obamacare. Citing a bogus University of South Carolina study, Sheheen claims the Medicaid expansion would create jobs and generate revenue for the state (never mind that $11.2 billion price tag).

Here’s the other thing: South Carolina has dramatically expanded its Medicaid population over the last decade – and yet this expansion (and the broader growth of state government) has done absolutely nothing to benefit our economy. In fact it has held us back as a state.

What makes Sheheen think things will be different this time?

Sheheen’s endorsement of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion represents a colossal tactical miscalculation. In one stroke, he has surrendered what could have been an incredibly potent weapon against Haley (her “Haleycare” spending) and handed her a club with which to repeatedly beat him about the head.

In fact, remember this line … because you’ll be hearing something very similar to it ad nauseam prior to next year’s general election …

While Nikki Haley stood tall for taxpayers against Obamacare’s reckless spending, Vincent Sheheen tried to drive up our debt and bankrupt future generations of taxpayers …

Yeah … that’s cooking with gas, people.

Neither Haley nor Sheheen has a leg to stand on when it comes to the Medicaid expansion issue (both are big government backers with terrible records), but Sheheen’s endorsement of the Obamacare expansion means Haley is marginally more taxpayer-friendly – not to mention infinitely better off from a political perspective.

***

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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24 comments

Smirks March 8, 2013 at 10:28 am

“Meanwhile 43 percent of the state’s children and 52 percent of its live births are covered by the program. That’s crazy, people.”

It is just a very sad indicator of poverty in SC. Ending Medicaid would condemn 43 percent of the state’s children to have extremely limited access to health care and 52 percent of live births resulting in medical bills the parents can’t pay, which would likely bankrupt them, condemning them and the newly born child to an even lower level of poverty, and the bill would eventually get passed on to us anyways.

Gutting Meidcaid doesn’t hurt the deadbeat welfare queens that some people love to stereotype anyone who receives government assistance as being, it mostly just hurts children and poor old folks. The better thing to do is to drum up employment opportunities in this state so people don’t have to rely on programs like Medicaid. Hell, at that point, you can start weaning the actual welfare queens off of the government teat, and not just concerning Medicaid.

That being said, I don’t think the Medicaid expansion is the best way to go about covering poorer people. Then again, considering unpaid medical bills from the uninsured just get passed to us anyways, one has to wonder which costs more in the long run.

Reply
Smirks March 8, 2013 at 10:28 am

“Meanwhile 43 percent of the state’s children and 52 percent of its live births are covered by the program. That’s crazy, people.”

It is just a very sad indicator of poverty in SC. Ending Medicaid would condemn 43 percent of the state’s children to have extremely limited access to health care and 52 percent of live births resulting in medical bills the parents can’t pay, which would likely bankrupt them, condemning them and the newly born child to an even lower level of poverty, and the bill would eventually get passed on to us anyways.

Gutting Meidcaid doesn’t hurt the deadbeat welfare queens that some people love to stereotype anyone who receives government assistance as being, it mostly just hurts children and poor old folks. The better thing to do is to drum up employment opportunities in this state so people don’t have to rely on programs like Medicaid. Hell, at that point, you can start weaning the actual welfare queens off of the government teat, and not just concerning Medicaid.

That being said, I don’t think the Medicaid expansion is the best way to go about covering poorer people. Then again, considering unpaid medical bills from the uninsured just get passed to us anyways, one has to wonder which costs more in the long run.

Reply
BigT March 8, 2013 at 10:45 am

FITS claims “Haley has a problem managing Medicaid”…I doubt he’s on it…
The users of it have the problem managing ANYTHING in their lives…that’s why they have to have us pay for their healthcare…(see Obama, Dumb@#$$)….
FITS, and IDIOTS like him, are why this couintry is in a MESS.
Instead of looking at the people RESPONSIBLE for Failure…This briin-dead idiot political operative plays Grudge politics..
Hey FITS: you and Sanford hat EIGHT FREAKIN’ years…and all you did was exemplify yourselves as Cheaters and Beaters…
So STFU….

Reply
Charles Dickens March 8, 2013 at 11:05 am

Well, we can’t abort them.

Reply
BigT March 8, 2013 at 10:45 am

FITS claims “Haley has a problem managing Medicaid”…I doubt he’s on it…
The users of it have the problem managing ANYTHING in their lives…that’s why they have to have us pay for their healthcare…(see Obama, Dumb@#$$)….
FITS, and IDIOTS like him, are why this couintry is in a MESS.
Instead of looking at the people RESPONSIBLE for Failure…This briin-dead idiot political operative plays Grudge politics..
Hey FITS: you and Sanford hat EIGHT FREAKIN’ years…and all you did was exemplify yourselves as Cheaters and Beaters…
So STFU….

Reply
Charles Dickens March 8, 2013 at 11:05 am

Well, we can’t abort them.

Reply
Thomas March 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Sheheen would best be suited to run against Sen Graham in 2014, if he had the stones.

Reply
Thomas March 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Sheheen would best be suited to run against Sen Graham in 2014, if he had the stones.

Reply
Crooner March 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Let them die! Let them die!
Wasn’t that the chant that went up at the Republican Presidential primary debate held in Myrtle Beach? That hardly seems like a solution to the problem.

Reply
Crooner March 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Let them die! Let them die!
Wasn’t that the chant that went up at the Republican Presidential primary debate held in Myrtle Beach? That hardly seems like a solution to the problem.

Reply
Jan March 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm

For someone who spent years in Government you have a complete misunderstanding of how Medicaid works. Sheheen is right about job production and you are wrong about Haley being more taxpayer friendly, unless you contend most people with health insurance are not taxpayers.

Under Sheheen’s plan, the state gets an injection of cash that goes to create high paying health care jobs. More jobs than Boeing created at a lower cost. Medicaid is a benefit for health care providers, not poor people. Health care providers get the money not poor people. Under Haley’s plan we get no additional cash into the state and the people with health insurance pay the cost of the care anyway through higher premiums. So people who have no health insurance cause the problem and pay none of the cost.

As Christi and Scott tried to explain to their states, (Christi successfully, Scott not) the states who accept Medicaid expansion owe those who do not a great big thank you note. Because if we don’t accept the expansion that leaves more dollars for the Federal Government to give to the states who do.

But hey SC has been a taker state for years, so maybe that’s payback.

Of course as Crooner says, we can just go with the Ron Paul plan and let them die.

Reply
Jan March 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm

For someone who spent years in Government you have a complete misunderstanding of how Medicaid works. Sheheen is right about job production and you are wrong about Haley being more taxpayer friendly, unless you contend most people with health insurance are not taxpayers.

Under Sheheen’s plan, the state gets an injection of cash that goes to create high paying health care jobs. More jobs than Boeing created at a lower cost. Medicaid is a benefit for health care providers, not poor people. Health care providers get the money not poor people. Under Haley’s plan we get no additional cash into the state and the people with health insurance pay the cost of the care anyway through higher premiums. So people who have no health insurance cause the problem and pay none of the cost.

As Christi and Scott tried to explain to their states, (Christi successfully, Scott not) the states who accept Medicaid expansion owe those who do not a great big thank you note. Because if we don’t accept the expansion that leaves more dollars for the Federal Government to give to the states who do.

But hey SC has been a taker state for years, so maybe that’s payback.

Of course as Crooner says, we can just go with the Ron Paul plan and let them die.

Reply
jimlewisowb March 8, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Wish you would stop photoshopping the Governor’s image

I am attaching her official 2014 re-election photo

Reply
jimlewisowb March 8, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Wish you would stop photoshopping the Governor’s image

I am attaching her official 2014 re-election photo

Reply
Bill Bledsoe March 10, 2013 at 11:12 am

H3100 by Bill Chumley, if it does not get killed by HaleyCare, would put an end to this political medical charade.

It’s estimated by the Senate, that ObamaCare will cost SC residents over $6 Billion Dollars in new taxes over the next 10 years while returning only about $100 million dollars per year back to South Carolina Hospitals. WHAT A JOKE WHEN YOU CALL IT FREE MEDICAL CARE FOR OUR CHILDREN.

HaleyCare is no better, taking massive amounts of funds from the SC Government to fund these massive fake and fraudulent hospital bills, that funded Haley’s election campaign.

Haley and Obama should both be tarred and feathered. We’ve somehow provided medical care for 200 years for this state without ObamaCare or HaleyCare. They’re both lying to us telling us we suddenly need these fraudulent medical scams.

Reply
Please March 11, 2013 at 1:54 am

“We’ve somehow provided medical care for 200 years for this state.”

Oh, really? About 20% of South Carolinians are uninsured. When they rack up hospital bills that they can’t pay, local and state govts help bail the hospitals out by paying part of those bills (that means the taxpayers pay them). The rest of the cost is passed on to those who have insurance in the form of higher prices for services, thus higher insurance premiums by the health insurance companies to help recoup those costs. So, that is the scheme that you want to continue with? Good for you. Assuming you have health insurance, you will see both your taxes and your health insurance premiums continue to rise.

Reply
Bill Bledsoe March 10, 2013 at 11:12 am

H3100 by Bill Chumley, if it does not get killed by HaleyCare, would put an end to this political medical charade.

It’s estimated by the Senate, that ObamaCare will cost SC residents over $6 Billion Dollars in new taxes over the next 10 years while returning only about $100 million dollars per year back to South Carolina Hospitals. WHAT A JOKE WHEN YOU CALL IT FREE MEDICAL CARE FOR OUR CHILDREN.

HaleyCare is no better, taking massive amounts of funds from the SC Government to fund these massive fake and fraudulent hospital bills, that funded Haley’s election campaign.

Haley and Obama should both be tarred and feathered. We’ve somehow provided medical care for 200 years for this state without ObamaCare or HaleyCare. They’re both lying to us telling us we suddenly need these fraudulent medical scams.

Reply
Please March 11, 2013 at 1:54 am

“We’ve somehow provided medical care for 200 years for this state.”

Oh, really? About 20% of South Carolinians are uninsured. When they rack up hospital bills that they can’t pay, local and state govts help bail the hospitals out by paying part of those bills (that means the taxpayers pay them). The rest of the cost is passed on to those who have insurance in the form of higher prices for services, thus higher insurance premiums by the health insurance companies to help recoup those costs. So, that is the scheme that you want to continue with? Good for you. Assuming you have health insurance, you will see both your taxes and your health insurance premiums continue to rise.

Reply
Bill Bledsoe March 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm

WHAT A CON SMIRKS!

FREE MEDICAL CARE CARE FOR OUR CHILDREN!

LOL! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

ObamaCare has been estimated by the Senate in South Carolina to cost residents of South Carolina over $6 Billion Dollars over the next 10 years in NEW TAXES.

ObamaCare is estimated to return between $100 Million an $300 million dollars back to South Carolina Hospitals each year.

That’s only one sixth of our money returned to South Carolina for this joke of FREE MEDICAL CARE FOR OUR CHILDREN.

It’s the same for HaleyCare.

Reply
Smirks March 11, 2013 at 9:48 am

“ObamaCare has been estimated by the Senate in South Carolina to cost
residents of South Carolina over $6 Billion Dollars over the next 10
years in NEW TAXES.”

I’m kind of chuckling at the source of that estimate, but then again, I can’t even find a link to this supposed estimate. Care to post a link?

The other problem is, what do we pay without Obamacare? Please note this law:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Medical_Treatment_and_Active_Labor_Act

This law ensured that ANY person can go to an emergency room and receive emergency service, even if they are here illegally, even if they can’t pay. That “even if they can’t pay” bit makes zero sense because someone HAS to pay for it. Who does?

Well, we do. We pay for it. We pay for it in increased health care costs. We pay for it with tax dollars. We pay for it when our insurance premiums go up. We pay for it with clogged up emergency rooms and reduced hospital capacity. Somehow, somewhere, the bill gets passed to us and we reap additional consequences on top of it. And that isn’t even a guarantee that you will receive treatment to save your life, only treatment that would immediately save your life. No preventative care that could save you expensive surgeries and medications (and your life), no continual treatment for chronic illnesses or diseases that could easily kill you, such as cancer…

We also pay for it by watching thousands of people go bankrupt trying to pay for it. That is lost economic potential. Think that’s a crock? What’s THE number one reason for bankruptcy in the United States?

That leaves us with two choices:

1) Adopt a program that provides affordable access for everyone so that a greater number of people are covered and are capable of receiving care and paying for their bill.

2) Destroy the above law mandating emergency services to the destitute and watch as people are thrown to the curb and die. And yes, both Medicaid and that law are the only things keeping many old people in care and children receiving care for a myriad of afflictions from dying in terrible conditions in very many instances.

“ObamaCare is estimated to return between $100 Million an $300 million dollars back to South Carolina Hospitals each year.”

To remain on-topic, the Medicaid expansion is fully paid for by federal government initially, but eventually will drop down to 90% funded by federal government. So, take the cost of the Medicaid expansion, divide it by ten, and that’s what we pay. But the feds pay 9 times that. If anything, it solidifies us even more as a “taker” state because it puts us even further into the territory of states that take more than they give to the feds.

Going with the first result from Google:

“After three years, South Carolina would have to start paying part of the
cost of expanding Medicaid – anywhere from $613 million to $1.9 billion
by 2020 – depending on a number of variables.”

http://www.thestate.com/2013/03/09/2668667/exclusive-sc-democrats-push-3.html

So $61.3 million to $190 million by 2020 will be paid by us, $551.7 million to $1.71 billion paid by the feds. Ultimately if you are a state that pays more in federal taxes than you receive, this is a losing deal, but for us, it is quite a good deal.

Oh, and just like the health care exchanges, there’s a provision where the feds will do it to a certain degree anyways in spite of our decision, so there’s that. Oh, and the part where these federal taxes we are supposedly hit by don’t go down for refusing the money.

Either way, if there’s a better option, let’s take it, but I don’t consider “Let them die!” an option.

Reply
Bill Bledsoe March 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm

WHAT A CON SMIRKS!

FREE MEDICAL CARE CARE FOR OUR CHILDREN!

LOL! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

ObamaCare has been estimated by the Senate in South Carolina to cost residents of South Carolina over $6 Billion Dollars over the next 10 years in NEW TAXES.

ObamaCare is estimated to return between $100 Million an $300 million dollars back to South Carolina Hospitals each year.

That’s only one sixth of our money returned to South Carolina for this joke of FREE MEDICAL CARE FOR OUR CHILDREN.

It’s the same for HaleyCare.

Reply
Smirks March 11, 2013 at 9:48 am

“ObamaCare has been estimated by the Senate in South Carolina to cost
residents of South Carolina over $6 Billion Dollars over the next 10
years in NEW TAXES.”

I’m kind of chuckling at the source of that estimate, but then again, I can’t even find a link to this supposed estimate. Care to post a link?

The other problem is, what do we pay without Obamacare? Please note this law:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Medical_Treatment_and_Active_Labor_Act

This law ensured that ANY person can go to an emergency room and receive emergency service, even if they are here illegally, even if they can’t pay. That “even if they can’t pay” bit makes zero sense because someone HAS to pay for it. Who does?

Well, we do. We pay for it. We pay for it in increased health care costs. We pay for it with tax dollars. We pay for it when our insurance premiums go up. We pay for it with clogged up emergency rooms and reduced hospital capacity. Somehow, somewhere, the bill gets passed to us and we reap additional consequences on top of it. And that isn’t even a guarantee that you will receive treatment to save your life, only treatment that would immediately save your life. No preventative care that could save you expensive surgeries and medications (and your life), no continual treatment for chronic illnesses or diseases that could easily kill you, such as cancer…

We also pay for it by watching thousands of people go bankrupt trying to pay for it. That is lost economic potential. Think that’s a crock? What’s THE number one reason for bankruptcy in the United States?

That leaves us with two choices:

1) Adopt a program that provides affordable access for everyone so that a greater number of people are covered and are capable of receiving care and paying for their bill.

2) Destroy the above law mandating emergency services to the destitute and watch as people are thrown to the curb and die. And yes, both Medicaid and that law are the only things keeping many old people in care and children receiving care for a myriad of afflictions from dying in terrible conditions in very many instances.

“ObamaCare is estimated to return between $100 Million an $300 million dollars back to South Carolina Hospitals each year.”

To remain on-topic, the Medicaid expansion is fully paid for by federal government initially, but eventually will drop down to 90% funded by federal government. So, take the cost of the Medicaid expansion, divide it by ten, and that’s what we pay. But the feds pay 9 times that. If anything, it solidifies us even more as a “taker” state because it puts us even further into the territory of states that take more than they give to the feds.

Going with the first result from Google:

“After three years, South Carolina would have to start paying part of the
cost of expanding Medicaid – anywhere from $613 million to $1.9 billion
by 2020 – depending on a number of variables.”

http://www.thestate.com/2013/03/09/2668667/exclusive-sc-democrats-push-3.html

So $61.3 million to $190 million by 2020 will be paid by us, $551.7 million to $1.71 billion paid by the feds. Ultimately if you are a state that pays more in federal taxes than you receive, this is a losing deal, but for us, it is quite a good deal.

Oh, and just like the health care exchanges, there’s a provision where the feds will do it to a certain degree anyways in spite of our decision, so there’s that. Oh, and the part where these federal taxes we are supposedly hit by don’t go down for refusing the money.

Either way, if there’s a better option, let’s take it, but I don’t consider “Let them die!” an option.

Reply
Eugene Hawkins March 10, 2013 at 6:36 pm

“Individual mandate” should have opened everyone’s eyes. Example: If a woman without means or responsible other half, gives birth to a child, the reasoning is “medicaid will pay for it”. So, single parent (read mother in this instance) households are actually encouraged in this sense. This can and does promote many social ills that are becoming more prevelant. More dependancy, more irresponsibility.

Reply
Eugene Hawkins March 10, 2013 at 6:36 pm

“Individual mandate” should have opened everyone’s eyes. Example: If a woman without means or responsible other half, gives birth to a child, the reasoning is “medicaid will pay for it”. So, single parent (read mother in this instance) households are actually encouraged in this sense. This can and does promote many social ills that are becoming more prevelant. More dependancy, more irresponsibility.

Reply

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