01 May 2013

Remedy SC - Healthcare at the Statehouse

S.C. Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.
I joined other healthcare professionals at our statehouse in Columbia, SC yesterday hoping to encourage our legislators to consider passing the Medicaid expansion bill in South Carolina. I am not sure we made any difference but it was the largest show of support that they had seen in years. Check the Remedy, SC site for more information on the topic and if you are inclined, sign the petition. It is a complicated issue.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is now the law of the land. While many have differences of opinion on the new law, it is clear that some very important choices lie ahead for our leaders that will directly impact taxpayers and businesses in South Carolina. The choice for taxpayers. With the federal government offering $11 billion over the next 7 years to cover poverty-stricken families in South Carolina, our state would only pay about 10% of that cost. If South Carolina does not expand Medicaid, then billions of our taxpayer dollars will be spent on Medicaid recipients in other states.
The choice for consumers. Medicaid expansion will provide health coverage to approximately 250,000 uninsured, low income South Carolinians who cannot access health insurance. The vast majority of these uninsured citizens often rely on hospital emergency rooms as their primary source of healthcare, which generally leads to a higher cost of health care. With hospitals expecting more than $2.6 billion in cuts because of the ACA, increased cost-shifting to insured families and employers is likely if our state chooses not to expand Medicaid.