Letter: Expand Medicaid in South Carolina

  • Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014 12:01 a.m.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer gave her pen a workout about a year ago after her fellow Republicans who dominate that state’s legislature refused her request to pass a Medicaid expansion bill, bringing with it billions of dollars in federal investment. She issued an ultimatum – telling the legislature to stop sending her bills until they passed Medicaid expansion.

They didn’t listen on May 23; she vetoed every bill that was sent to her that day, including at least a couple she supported.

Now Arizona’s working poor have access to health care insurance while our fellow South Carolinians hang out at emergency rooms.

It’s time for Gov Nikki Haley to start thinking of the tens off thousand South Carolinians who have no coverage including many veterans. Failing to expand Medicaid will have a disastrous effect on the state’s health care industry and overall economy.

Hundreds of lives will continue to be lost because too few poor South Carolinians have no reasonable access to health care coverage. Republican leaders refuse to budge.

They think that passing Medicaid expansion, as 26 other states have, is giving in to Obamacare. Governor line-item veto every corporate handout and special-interest freebie but everything else goes. Prove that you’ve got as much courage as Brewer.

The GOP has a veto-proof majority. Yes, big donors and far-right voters have encouraged the trend toward dangerous, extremist legislation since her election in 2012; she has spent much of her time in the governor’s mansion, following a bunker mentality. The governor has been accused by Democrats, most notably S.C. Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Camden, of a being disengaged from discussions with lawmakers. In running her office, she has succeeded in making it next to impossible for lawmakers, reporters or citizens to access necessary public information. Governors need to take a page from Brewer’s book and do what is right.

Liam McGinley

Aiken

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