The Legislature will soon allow the state’s Medicaid agency to lower the amount it pays hospitals to treat Medicaid patients. The House voted 67-45 Thursday to allow the Department of Health and Human Services to reduce provider rates for hospitals.
Democrats opposed the bill, saying it would hurt rural hospitals already struggling in the red. Rep. Jerry Govan (D-Orangeburg) said the legislature should have accepted an offer by hospitals to pay higher taxes instead.
This is not a win for patients, but a potential disaster for the state. These are the people who are in the business of taking care of us. They’re saying that this move doesn’t make sense. We should recognize and respect that.
However, Republicans opposed raising the taxes out of fear the hospitals would just pass along the extra cost to patients.