This is Kelly preparing to be blasted by Jonathon and conservatives around the state for that headline. But before you blast me please finish the blog post. Our Governor Nikki Haley says "we will oppose the implementation of Obamacare". I agreed with that position right up till we lost the fight. Now it's the law. Of course states have the right to not opt in to the expansion of Medicaid. By opting in, the Federal government funds it completely for 3 years. Then phase down to 95 percent and finally in 2020 down to 90% for all future years. Our Governor, in addition to being able to win support amongst the hard core right, also seems to be arguing that we will not be able to afford the 5% or 10% portion in future years. Let's look at that.
The expansion of Medicaid is to cover people who make 138 percent or less of the poverty level. This year it's about 15 grand. As The State reports if SC opts out, the people making 11-15k a year will still be eligible for subsidized insurance. It's those making under $11,000 a year, approximately 284,000 in SC who are between the ages of 18-64 who would not be eligible for any assistance. Huge hole in the bill! Certainly needs to be fixed, but it won't be fixed this year. Now you may be saying that it's not the government's job to provide healthcare in the first place! And you may further ask are there no emergency rooms and free clinics left for those people to receive treatment? Why yes Ebeneezer there are.
As with all of my arguments regarding government I will not play to your sympathy, but to your wallet. What makes the most sense for us to spend as little of our dollar's and cents on running our government. First understand that opting out doesn't lessen the amount of money that we have to send Washington to fund it. As you know the federal government can't pay for anything before taking the money from you. They have already passed the law so your money is going to DC. By opting out, SC hospitals will not receive around 375 million dollars a year that we already paid for. In total it's 11.2 billion dollars that the state is turning down!
Second. Lower insurance rates should be coming. Having the uninsured become insured means we should expect a lot of them to get checkups. If they get their suddenly free checkup that should help you. Here's how. The healthier a society is, the less their insurance costs them. For example, if everyone get a colonoscopy every 10 years like we're told to, that costs the insurance company around 700 hundred dollars. Then say they find polyps that can be removed for a few thousand. That costs insurance companies a lot less than a colon cancer diagnosis! Radiation, chemo, and other treatments can rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars bills. 50,000 a year go through all of that and die. Hundreds of thousands more survive. As an American you pay more than any other person on the planet for healthcare. And part of that is because so many of us are unhealthy. American's life expectancy is ranked 34th in the world. Even Cuban's are living longer! Do they have better health care? Of course not, but everyone is getting basic health care which millions of American's are skipping.
And you are already paying around $1000 a year in higher premiums according to this 2009 USA Today story because of the uninsured driving up costs at hospitals.That was part of the reason Newt wrote in his 2009 book Real Change "Those who oppose the concept of insurance should be forced to post a bond to cover costs. Allowing individuals to pass their health costs on to others reinforces the attitude that their health is not their problem and adds to the irresponsible, unhealthy behaviors that bankrupt the current system.”
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer who is certainly no friend of Obama or his Obamacare.She was one of the Governors who sued to stop it. But she realizes that the battle was lost. Monday in her State of The State address Ms Brewer said "The law isn't going away anytime soon. Arizonians have to deal with reality instead of trying to wish it away or wagging your finger in the face of the Federal Government. Trust me I tried that...it doesn't work". So South Carolina you're paying for this, you might as well try to do some good with it. Trust me Obama will spend it anyways, and I don't mean to pay down the debt or anything we would like. Probably buy something like a wind farm with it.