Tony Keck’s Pay Day …

… AT YOUR EXPENSE By FITSNEWS || Over the weekend, this website exclusively reported on the looming departure of Tony Keck from the cabinet of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley. Keck is the guy who – at Haley’s direction (and with funding support from the S.C. General Assembly) – orchestrated a…


By FITSNEWS || Over the weekend, this website exclusively reported on the looming departure of Tony Keck from the cabinet of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.

Keck is the guy who – at Haley’s direction (and with funding support from the S.C. General Assembly) – orchestrated a massive expansion of Medicaid in the Palmetto State this year.

How massive?  According to Keck’s own numbers, enrollment in this government program is set to soar by 16 percent in the current fiscal year – triple the projected rate of growth from the previous year. That astronomical figure – which will cost South Carolina taxpayers half a billion dollars – is more than three times higher than the average growth rate in states that didn’t accept Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. In fact it’s higher than the average 12 percent growth rate of the states that did accept Obamacare subsidies.

Amazing … especially in light of Haley’s claim that her administration would “not expand Medicaid. Ever.”

It’s also amazing government-subsidized health care would be expanding by leaps and bounds in the midst of a so-called “recovery” in South Carolina.

Guess Haley’s economic record isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be …

Anyway …

According to our sources, Keck – who was tapped in 2011 to lead the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) – will leave Haley’s cabinet within the next few weeks and take a job with the Nashville, Tennessee-based Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).

Other sources conflict that account, saying Keck is leaving to take a job with Nashville, Tennessee-based Mountain States Health Alliance.

How convenient, right?  He balloons the state’s Medicaid rolls … then takes a job with a company that’s poised to cash in on all of those subsidies.

HCA – founded by the father of former “Republican” U.S. Senate leader Bill Frist – is the largest for-profit operator of hospitals in the world, with nearly 300 facilities under its direction. Mountain States Health Alliance recently named Keck’s mentor Alan Lavine as its new CEO.

Sources say Keck is reporting taking a “regional leadership” job.

Whatever he’s doing … for either company … the arrangement stinks.

We need to be able to trust that bureaucrats appointed to positions like this are acting in the best interests of citizens and taxpayers – not their own professional future.

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Rocky October 6, 2014 at 9:50 am

Just think – had they taken the expansion deal it would have cost them $0, and later, only $50 million. Now it’s gonna cost them $500 million in first year, and later on – $700 million a year. Now that’s what I call good decision making.

Senior Senator Strom October 6, 2014 at 10:00 am

All in steadfast ideology and Tea Party ignorance.

For goodness sake, I raled against Fed spending but was smart enough to make sure SC got its share once appropriated.

Diogenes October 6, 2014 at 9:58 am

So, to sum things up:
Those states that enrolled in Obamacare Medicaid expansion and accepted the federal subsidies (which amount to 100 per cent of costs the first nine years and 90 per cent thereafter) have seen their Medicaid rolls expand by 12 per cent.
South Carolina, led by Nikki Haley, who oppose Obamacare primarily because it was proposed by a Democratic President, did not enroll and will receive no federal funds, will see its Medicaid rolls expand by 16 per cent at a cost to SC taxpayers of over a half billion dollars.
That about it? Go figure.

Senior Senator Strom October 6, 2014 at 10:01 am

I knew how to count votes AND count dollars.

ELCID October 6, 2014 at 11:50 am

Seems that if we have that many people who qualify for Medicaid; that’s what we have created. Denying those people Medicaid doesn’t serve our State, or eliminate our citizen’s rights to Medicaid. We should be working on how to keep our citizens healthy and properly employed. Than trying to deny them their right to help.

William J. Hamilton October 6, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Actually if you worked on the sign up, this was no surprise. SC has a large and growing population of people who are grindingly poor, often disabled. Many are older now and in obvious poor health. They’re poorly educated and the skills they have, such as working in sewing mills in the Pee Dee now serve companies outsourced to Central America or Asia. Most of these people were absolutely desperate to see a doctor. They’ve been through several health disasters, which have wiped out any savngs they have and often cost them ownership of their car, which severely limits theri job prospects due to our inadequate transit systems. Many have lost their homes to foreclosures arising out of loans which should never have been made, which can put 12 or more family members on the street when their former tar paper shack on inherited land is sold by the Sherriff. (The money to prevent these foreclosures in SC was turned over to the Commerce Dpt. to be used for economic development subsidies to companies like Boeing.) Housing they can afford has been zoned out of the areas where the service jobs they’re qualified for exist. In SC, McDonalds can hire a healthy 25 year old with a tech school degree or even a college BA to do minimum wage work. They can count on that 25 year old to be available, capbably of working long hours, and to be free of family obligations because they’re not going to be getting married or having children. They’re strong enough to work 50 to 55 hours a week and they will smile and make people fee good about buying a big Mac because their entire life experience has broken them to this list of expectations.

Since the State really doesn’t help people get benefits, there was a large and growing group of these people who were qualified, but didn’t know it. Once we started working through the community (largely outside the media) we were able to sign these people up wholesale. They were always there, at least since the economy collapsed.

These people work hard when they can. Many worked 50 hours a week at the Sewing mills years ago. They ahd a lower cost of living at the time since housing in those rural areas was cheap and much food was locally grown. They went to church, went to work and did exactly what the rich and powerful people of this state demanded they do, for a lifetime. Some other are just poor children, often in the custody of relatives or grandparents, who have no power over their circumstances.

It’s cruel and unfair to treat them like garbage and insult them for tryng to see a Doctor and not dying sooner. Many of them even voted Republican. They’ve done exactly what their politicians, bosses and preachers have told them to.

Go Cocks October 6, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Quality posts like this one are why I come to this website!

johnq October 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm


ScrewedNSC October 6, 2014 at 10:00 am

South Carolina must be feeling great again today, as we get screwed again!

Torch October 6, 2014 at 10:05 am

I don’t think he “expanded” Medicaid but just fixed the system that kept those that were already eligible off the program. Those eligible are now receiving. There were a lot of children that were not receiving Medicaid that were eligible and not receiving.

tomstickler October 6, 2014 at 10:05 am

How many times will we have to explain to Will the difference between “expansion under ACA” which applies to those between 100% and 135% of poverty, and “expansion” among those below 100% of poverty who were already eligible for Medicaid, but not signed up?

These are two different situations, and two different funding mechanisms. Growth among the <100% group may have been higher than anticipated because the Great Recession dropped them into eligibility, or, they may have just been ignorant that they were already eligible.

CNSYD October 6, 2014 at 10:20 am

Facts and explanations screw up Sic Willie’s agenda.

GC October 6, 2014 at 10:42 am

The guy is moving on and making a living, that is not against the law. I cannot figure FITS out, one day he complains about low paying jobs, the next day he bitches about a guy getting a six figure job. As my mother used to say, you can’t have your cake and eat it too!

Really? October 6, 2014 at 10:44 am

Read the article carefully, he’s suggesting there’s an element of crony capitalism surrounding it. If it wasn’t for Keck’s current position in government, he probably wouldn’t be considered qualified to run a lemonade stand.

GC October 6, 2014 at 11:52 am

Hell, that happens all the time! Many people work in the govt, then leave and go to work for firms. The revolving door, it happens at the local, state and federal level all the time, it is not against the law! I read the article, if Fits does not like it, go to his legislator and get a bill introduced and passed that forbids people working in the govt from taking jobs like this guy did! In other words, vote against the the free market. You can say it is crony capitlism, but this has been going on for a long time and I repeat it is not against the law!

Really? October 6, 2014 at 11:59 am

“You can say it is crony capitlism, but this has been going on for a long time and I repeat it is not against the law!”

Yea, I can say it’s crony capitalism, BECAUSE IT IS!

Just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s right.

You shouldn’t confuse law with morality, more importantly, you shouldn’t also ignore the ramification of allowing “public servants” to work for private corporations with whom they’ve directed taxpayers dollars. In fact, it’s downright stupid.

GC October 6, 2014 at 12:12 pm

You are free to go to your legislator and request a bill be introduced to change this! Stop belly aching and change the law!

Really? October 6, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Go to my legislator, who is probably riding the same(or similar) gravy train?

How about instead I just point out that pigs like Keck simply should suck my dick?

Yea, I like that option better. Public shaming is far more effective.

Can’t wait for him to move to another state and get off the taxpayer dole.

GC October 6, 2014 at 12:23 pm

If you run for office I will vote for ya, ya running?

Really? October 6, 2014 at 12:25 pm

I’m not electable, nor do I want to live on the backs of others.

GC October 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Really?, so you think legislatures should work in office for free?

Really? October 6, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Yep. If they made taxes voluntary, no one would pay them. So they are earning far more than they are worth.

GC October 6, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Will, I get it, I see where we are going with this. Good Day!

Beartrkkr October 6, 2014 at 7:29 pm

If taxes are voluntary, can you only use those services or amenities that you contributed to? October 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm

And unions are part of the free market, yet you object to their existence.

Really? October 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm

He has no idea what a “free market” is. If he did, he’d know that that anything involving government can’t be a free market.

I’m not sure he mentioned Unions anywhere, but you are 100% correct-a hard core “free marketer” absolutely knows that Unions are compatible with free markets. (and long as there’s no aggression involved, ie. theft or violence)

GC October 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Really?, which is really Will, do you believe in absolutely no gov’t?
Just say it, if you believe it!
Your view of the free market, is someone in gov’t is not allowed to decide to take a private sector job.

Really? October 6, 2014 at 2:41 pm

“Your view of the free market, is someone in gov’t is not allowed to decide to take a private sector job.”

No, my view is that a market is not free if the government is involved. Just what I typed.

If you landed the job on the basis of your government “work”/position, you didn’t get it as a result of free market economics.

I understand you might have trouble seeing the nuance.

“Really?, which is really Will, do you believe in absolutely no gov’t?”

You’ve been wrong so much, I’m not surprised you’re wrong again here.

1. I’m not Will. Will is the guy with hope that gov’t can be fixed, reformed, etc.

That’s not me.

2. Yes, I believe for now, that no government is superior in every way to the government that now exists.

GC October 6, 2014 at 2:25 pm

I don’t object to unions, where did you get this?

The public serves them October 6, 2014 at 1:53 pm

“he probably wouldn’t be considered qualified to run a lemonade stand.”


My favorite part of his resume is where he details out all of the “duties” and “responsibilities” he had under various government institutions…yet his one blank spot is when he supposedly was a “Director” for Johnson & Johnson.

Here’s what another google yielded on that:

“Director of Operations for Latin American Consulting and Services”

LMAO! Why no listing of duties for the one, plausible actual private company that doesn’t subsist solely on taxpayer dollars?(I wish I had a nickel for every self-proclaimed BS “consultant” that used it as a resume filler)

This guy has spent most of his career sucking off the taxpayer teat, and when he wasn’t….who one knows(nor can conveniently verify) what the hell he was doing.

GC October 6, 2014 at 2:33 pm

CNSYD, I now see you what you are up against, Will post under many other pseudo names: Really?, Why? He wants everyone else to be on the up & up but not him.

Really? October 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm

While you on the other hand, don’t mind if everyone is on the “up & up”. In fact, a little cronyism is “ok” to you, right?

Really? October 6, 2014 at 2:43 pm

*not on the “up & up”

GC October 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm

If don’t like what is going on in this state you are free to move?
Let me know what state this does not happen?

Really? October 6, 2014 at 2:48 pm

That isn’t an argument! I don’t give two shits what happens elsewhere, I care about what is right or wrong.

What’s your next argument for cronyism you amoral POS?

$10 says your a government employee.

GC October 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Will, you owe me 10 bucks, sorry the debate resorted to you using foul language or at least foul acronyms.

Really? October 6, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Who cares. You are, what you are. Also, I’m not Will.

“Good Day!”

Rocky October 6, 2014 at 11:20 am

But it is expanding due to ACA – because anyone previously eligible for Medicaid – if they went the Federal exchange website – found out they were eligible and then signed up. Prior to that – the state’s just tried to keep the people from being steered towards it. They would only find out they were eligible when they showed up at the hospital to have their rotting lower leg sawed off and found out they had diabetes.

Aflac damnit October 6, 2014 at 10:07 am

Cute name for Lobbyist. Just like the insurance “public relations” jobs, and other association jobs that go to politicos.

Daily corruption on all levels October 6, 2014 at 10:32 am

Yep, revolving door payoffs, it happens at all levels of government…pols, and their bribers, usually are able to it quiet.

FedUp October 6, 2014 at 10:26 am

Laughing all the way to the bank… he, and his wife too… (funs a state agency under her maiden name…

The public serves them October 6, 2014 at 11:44 am

Yep, they’ve spent their whole lives in government, primarily poor states, sucking up the taxpayers dollars. They both worked for Jindal too, looks like that’s where they met.

It just reinforces that being life long taxpayer parasites becomes a family way of life for these type of people.

Jack's communicable disease. October 6, 2014 at 10:35 am

By expansion you mean enrolling those who are already eligible but had not enrolled (mostly poor children)?

There has been no expansion. It was an effort to enroll those that are currently eligible under the notion that having them in the system is cheaper than having them show up at emergency rooms with problems that could have been prevented or managed.

Intellectual dishonesty.

Thomas October 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm

The problem is two fold. The Federal Government stuck their nose into healthcare incrementally despite whichever party was in power. There must have been a plan for a nationalized healthcare transcending political parties to have been implemented in 50 short years crossing three generations of congressional representatives. The goal is control of our healthcare by and revenue for the federal government. The questions begging to be answered are who planned and orchestrated the federal government’s takeover of our healthcare system and how do did they get members of congress spanning three generations and 50 years to pass and implement this plan?

Medicaid today is a product of careful and deliberate language placed in bills as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, and finally, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The rise of enrollment in Medicaid and Medicare is federally mandated, Fits. Expect everyone to be enrolled even if they have healthcare from their job or are self pay. Soon doctors will have no choice but to accept Medicaid and Medicare, the final nail in the coffin of our once privatized,efficiently profitable, and the most envied healthcare system in the world.

William J. Hamilton October 6, 2014 at 12:49 pm

“our once privatized,efficiently profitable, and the most envied healthcare system in the world.” Really, you have been well off and white your entire life, haven’t you? I’ve been practicing law for 27 years and I’ve been seeing desperately poor, disabled and at risk kids who needed healthcare throughtout that entire period, most of which was under Republican control at the Sate level and included and 15 of those years with a Republican President. I’ve seen entire layers of the working class pulled under by wages which haven’t kept up with the cost of living here in the Lowcountry. I’ve seen the poor pushed out of Charleston by gentrification to N. Charleston and now to places like Ladson. You’re side is winning. Vast poverty and a degraded working class dependent on Government assistance for survival is what your politics produce. The remaining options are to help them or to let them die. Before you jump on the apparently cheaper option, you need to understand that sick and hungry people don’t all die at once and guns and bullets are cheap and easy to get in South Carolina. Food stamps and medicaid may be quite the bargain.

johnq October 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Save your breath. These assholes don’t care what the consequences of their actions are until they find themselves hanging from a lamppost.

Uh huh October 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm

“You’re side is winning.”


You mean, Charlie Sheen winning, right?

Thomas October 7, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Privatized healthcare worked like this. People paid premiums, the majority at group rates. Insurance companies paid a large percentage to cover the costs of procedures and services. They invested the rest of unused premiums in stocks, bonds, and other investments. Everyone was a winner. Doctors got paid, folks paid their medical bills, and the stock market became much more stable as did the cost of medical care. With the government dictating to doctors and hospitals what they will be paid, and government squandering premium surpluses to pay off a deficit of 20 plus trillion dollars that was spent on the war on poverty is not a good place to be. You want a solution to poor kids in poor families? Mandate at least 100 rules in the proper way to raise your child not leaving it to chance. Coinciding with public education, the job market, and a healthcare system that caps insurance premiums based on economic realities, placing parents in therapy, not prisons, kids at 18 will have been nurtured into adults that could go off to war, off to college, off to work to raise a family like they were in. People do not know how to raise kids and the government does not know how balance their own budget regardless of political affiliation. Until we solve reckless child rearing and government intrusions that makes problems worse, we will always have poverty and judgmental people like you.

Crooner October 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Why should health care be “efficiently profitable” rather than the birthright of every American? Frankly doctors, for the right to practice medicine in this state, ought to be required to take Medicare and Medicaid patients- just as hospitals may not turn the sick away.

Tom October 6, 2014 at 12:07 pm

I do not know if this guy did anything wrong, but working for NIkki, it would not surprise me. In any event with a Republican Governor, Republican House and Republican Senate, our odds of being screwed at any given time are inordinately high. Republicans are by nature corrupt, and with absolute power they are corrupt absolutely.

nitrat October 6, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Do either of those Tennessee companies have anything to do with Medicaid in South Carolina?

M326 October 7, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Hiring people from out of state to run our critical government functions is very questionable. Keck’s family never moved here. He never considered a long term career here. He knew his future was dependent on Haley so he did what it took to make her look good, not what was necessarily good for our people. He invested nothing of his future here. He had no vested interest in the well-being of South Carolinians because he was here to enhance his resume and nothing more. He will never have to live with the legacy he leaves. He will smile in the future as he laughs at the springboard we gave him: such fools those South Carolinians. And we are fools. We let this happen. Haley allowed this to happen. Now let’s see who she appoints to take his place. Another career climber from out of state? That’s my guess. Do you have another opinion?


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