After a Republican attempt to repeal the health care reform law failed in the U.S. Senate, opponents are now taking a different tack. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is co-sponsoring a bill that would allow states to opt out of the new law if they choose.
Graham said current law will cost South Carolina too much to put into place.
Obama health care is a liberal’s dream, but it is South Carolina’s worst nightmare. It will bankrupt our state. 840,000 people will be added to Medicaid rolls where we can’t pay the bills already.
The bill would give the states the power to opt out of the health care law with the approval of the state’s legislature and governor.
Graham says, with South Carolina being forced to cut its budget this year, the last thing it should do is pay more for Medicaid.
Governor Nikki Haley met with President Obama briefly last year. At the time, he told her that he might allow South Carolina to opt out of the law if it met certain conditions. Haley said she has not yet come up with an alternative.
What we are seeing is more people that have insurance now… will come off of it and go onto the Medicaid rolls.
Graham wants the law to be revisited, saying that it was passed in a “sleazy,” partisan fashion the first time.
The bill faces an uncertain future in a Democrat-controlled Senate. Graham says he has the support of at least one Democrat so far, however. He says he is working with Ben Nelson of Nebraska, the senator who fashioned his own Medicaid deal with the Obama administration, which was criticized by South Carolina’s leadership as the “Cornhusker Kickback.”
Advocates of the new health care law say it is worth saving because of the benefits it brings to South Carolina, including 23-1 matching dollars for Medicaid. According to Jane Wiley, state director of SC AARP, the state’s aging population would lose important coverage if the new law were to be repealed.