In case you missed it (or ICYMI as the cool kids say), S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has been an outspoken critic of Medicaid expansion. And Obamacare.
“When it came to Obamacare, we didn’t just say ‘no,’ we said ‘never,’” Haley said in announcing her 2014 reelection bid.
She also vowed “we’re going to keep on fighting until we get people like Senator Tim Scott and everybody else in Congress to defund Obamacare.”
Which she did … until it came time to actually defund Obamacare.
Two weeks ago, Haley told reporters Patrick O’Connor and Louise Radnofsky of The Wall Street Journal that South Carolina “will not expand Medicaid. Ever.”
Here’s the problem with that statement: As we noted in this exclusive report, Haley’s administration is exploding Medicaid growth in South Carolina. In fact the expansion of this program – which already serves more than a quarter of the state’s population – has been pegged at 16 percent in fiscal year 2014-15.
That’s triple the projected rate of growth in the current fiscal year.
And it’s not just randomly happening, Haley’s administration has been engaging in a full-court press – spending tens of millions of dollars to identify and enroll new dependents.
To put this insane 16 percent growth rate into perspective, the average Medicaid expansion rate among states that ARE expanding the program under Obamacare is 11 percent.
Now, here’s some additional perspective … (taken from a presentation made by Haley’s Medicaid director Tony Keck to members of the S.C. Senate Finance Committee).
(Click to enlarge)
For those of you keeping score at home, that’s $467 million in new spending slated for the coming fiscal year – tied almost exclusively to “enrollment and service growth.
So much for that whole “not expanding Medicaid. Ever.”
We have a big problem with Haley pursuing Medicaid expansion so aggressively. When she took office South Carolina’s Medicaid participation rate was around 20 percent – in line with the rest of the country. Now we are moving toward becoming one of the most dependent states in the nation – which as you can see from the numbers above will place an increasingly heavy burden on Palmetto taxpayers.
Is that really what this “Tea Party” governor stands for?
Which leads us to the even bigger problem we have with Haley … her demonstrably false rhetoric.
While she expands Medicaid in South Carolina more than three times as fast as other anti-Obamacare states, she has the gall to claim she’s against Medicaid expansion?
Is there literally anything that comes out of this woman’s mouth that’s the truth?
Haley is a professional liar of the very worst sort. Yet unlike her lies about being faithful to her husband (or running a transparent administration), this lie is costing South Carolina taxpayers nearly half a billion dollars.
Banner pic: Travis Bell Photography