By Hoyt Wheeler
Imagine that Gov. Haley came up with a program called “Nikkicare” that would create 44,000 new jobs, provide health insurance for 250,000 of the poorest South Carolinians, cut health insurance premiums for citizens who have insurance, make up for the $2.6 billion in cuts in funding that are coming to SC hospitals, and keep small employers from facing fines for failing to provide health insurance for their employees? Doesn’t that sound great?
But there must be a catch, right? This is bound to be costly to SC taxpayers, isn’t it? Guess again. This program would cost us nothing for the first three years and gradually go to 10% being paid for by us after that. In addition, the economic impact of this flood of Federal dollars would pretty well cover all the costs in the future.
Does anyone think that the SC Legislature would pass up the chance to have such a program?
But it may. Not because it’s not a great program, but because it has a different label, “Medicaid Expansion” under “Obamacare.” Our only hope is that the Republicans who control the Legislature will do the right thing in spite of labels and ideology.