Hospitals in South Carolina want South Carolina’s political leaders to reconsider opting-out of state Medicaid expansion. The Supreme Court, in deciding the constitutionality of the health care act, decided the program’s expansion could be too intrusive on the states.
The governor’s Medicaid services director Tony Keck, after the ruling, pledged, “We’re not going to be one of the states to jump on the bandwagon.”
“We’re certainly not going to expand Medicaid up to amounts the Obama Administration would force us to,” said Keck.
Hospitals across the state say that they must deal with the costs and that more than 500,000 South Carolinians will remain uninsured. Allan Stalvey, executive vice president of the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) says they want to work with Keck on this.
“I hope we’ll have the opportunity to work with him on coming up with some resolution to what we will do with the 500,ooo-plus people who might have been affected by the Medicaid expansion but if they don’t expand it and take advantage of the federal funds, what is the recourse for those individuals who will remain uninsured,” said Stalvey.
By federal law, hospitals have to treat these patients. The health care act reduces payments to hospitals by $155 billion over 10 years, and in exchange hospitals benefit by the fact more Americans will have insurance.
“If we provide care to anyone who shows up, we have to figure out how to pay for that care,” says Stalvey.
AUDIO: Stalvey talks with South Carolina Radio Network’s Ashley Byrd