SC Gov. Nikki Haley Under Pressure to Bend on Medicaid Expansion

Monday, 10 Dec 2012 10:02 AM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Health advocates in South Carolina are spearheading a campaign to pressure state legislators to turn their backs on Gov. Nikki Haley and accept Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

The State newspaper reports that advocacy groups will hold a press conference at the State House and a public forum at the University of South Carolina on Tuesday to urge residents to turn up the heat on their representatives.

Haley wants to take advantage of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow states the option to decline the expansion of Medicare.

The newspaper says Haley and Tony Keck, director of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, “see Medicaid as a broken program that stifles innovation, discourages personal responsibility, and encourages fraud.’’

Under Obamacare, states may expand their Medicaid programs to cover adults who earn less earning than 138 percent of the federal poverty level — about $15,000 for an individual.

Keck argues that Medicaid expansion would increase South Carolina’s share of the program’s cost by $1.7 billion by 2020.

But the advocacy groups, which include AARP, the American Heart Association, the United Way, and The March of Dimes, say if South Carolina rejects the expansion, it will potentially be giving up $3 billion in federal money.





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