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Medicaid Expansion Refused

As you may have heard, the Republican controlled House this week refused to expand our Medicaid system by opting into the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

Currently as a state, we direct scarce Medicaid dollars toward children, pregnant women, and the elderly. If we had expanded Medicaid then 2 in 5 South Carolinians would rely on the government for healthcare. I believe that is not right.

I did not support the expansion of Medicaid because of many reasons.  The foremost reason is that South Carolina taxpayers cannot afford to sustain funding for the current Medicaid program even at the 30% state match level. 

In addition, the funding demands for the current entitlement program is hurting the funding for everything else in the state budget – public education, law enforcement, corrections, economic development, natural resources and higher education. 

As attractive as the offer of 100% Federal funding for the first few years, we cannot continue down this spending road.  Unlike the Federal government, the state cannot borrow money to keep state government operating.

Expanding Medicaid to fully implement ObamaCare is expensive, unsustainable, and radically expands our culture of dependency.

Though the Democrats are proposed a “temporary” expansion, we should remember that there is no such thing as a “temporary” expansion of government. Period.

The House Republicans put forward a plan that will expand access to preventative care and reward positive outcomes in this budget. It does not expand Medicaid and will not add a half-million people on the government healthcare.