Senators have approved a bill to allow South Carolina to side-step parts of the federal health care law and join with other states in offering its own health care programs.
Senators added a compromise amendment worked out by Sen. Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg) to leave Medicare alone in any multi-state health care compact, “unless the General Assembly takes action that specifically authorizes inclusion of the Medicare program in the compact.”
Hutto previously held up the bill , S.836, with concerns that the state could take Medicare into its own hands.
Republican Senators said their bill was needed in response to the federal government’s growing role in healthcare regulation.
“We need solutions that improve outcomes while lowering costs and solutions that protect promises made to our seniors,” Sen. Mike Rose (R-Dorchester) said. “Today’s compromise accomplishes those goals.”
Before he agreed to the compromise, Rose did speak at length in the Senate Wednesday about what he called “a tsunami that’s on its way” — referring to impending changes with a new national healthcare law.
AUDIO: Rose and Sen. Dick Elliott (D-Horry) disagreed over the dangers of the new law to Medicare (3:53)