This website has repeatedly exposed how S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s opposition to “Obamacare” is glaringly hypocritical. We’ve also meticulously documented how Haley has spent millions of South Carolina tax dollars to expand the state’s already bloated Medicaid rolls … even as she told The Wall Street Journal this week that the Palmetto State “will not expand Medicaid. Ever.”
While Haley touts her opposition to Medicaid expansion in the national press, fresh data from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) reveals the extent to which Haley’s administration is expanding Medicaid dependency in the Palmetto State.
Ready? If you’re a taxpayer, the numbers are downright scary …
According to the agency, Medicaid enrollment in South Carolina will grow by a whopping 16 percent in fiscal year 2014-15 – triple the projected rate of growth in the current fiscal year.
And while Haley’s agency is quick to blame U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration for this “dependency surge,” the reality is South Carolina’s Medicaid population is growing much faster than other states. In fact according to Kaiser Health News, South Carolina’s 16 percent Medicaid growth rate is larger than the 12 percent average increase in states which approved Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.
States which aren’t approving the Obamacare expansion are averaging five percent growth in their Medicaid populations.
In other words “Haleycare” is an even bigger expansion of dependency than “Obamacare.”
According to the Kaiser report, the Palmetto State “is now actively trying to enroll more of those eligible for the program.”
“South Carolina has opened an online enrollment system, added 20 positions to its call center and used government databases of people who qualify for food stamps to identify those eligible for Medicaid,” the website notes.
Wow … so much for all that “limited government” talk.
When Haley took office, an estimated 1.1 million South Carolinians – roughly 25 percent of the state’s population – received Medicaid services. That number is expanding by 130,000 in the current fiscal year and is expected to grow by 162,000 more in the coming fiscal year.
Haley’s Medicaid agency is requesting $467.1 million more in the coming fiscal year to cover the expense.
Previously SCDHHS received a pair of $100 million bailouts in 2011 (here and here) – part of an effort to address an eventual $225 million shortfall. These bailouts prompted lawmakers to demand an audit of SCDHHS – 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).
Haley is taking this already rampant and unsustainable growth and putting it on steroids … all while pretending to oppose Medicaid expansion in South Carolina.
“It’s a great day in South Carolina,” people … to be bankrupted by reckless government growth.