Is this is an example of the saying, “cutting off your nose to spite your face”?
The State of South Carolina despises the Affordable Healthcare Act (euphemistically called Obamacare) so much that it is willing to make tax payers pay an extra 30% of the cost of providing healthcare to its Medicaid eligible citizenry rather than accept the Obamacare option to expand Medicaid and save that money.
It’s quite ironic how the state will end up seeing a 16% increase in its Medicaid rolls next year, even without it expanding the program to cover poor adults. Currently, only certain ill children, the disabled and a finite category of adults qualify for Medicaid. The AHA allows states to expand their Medicaid program to cover those that meet the poverty standard, up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $15,900 for an individual or $32,500 for a family of four. The states that decide to expand Medicaid to cover adults (even those without children and who are not otherwise disabled) are eligible to receive 100% reimbursement for the cost of the extension for three years.
Now that the law requires all Americans to get healthcare, 300,000 eligible South Carolinians who don’t even know they qualify (and were already eligible before Obamacare even passed) will soon discover they could have been getting healthcare all this time. South Carolina, itself, discovered and projects seeing a 16% jump in its Medicaid enrollment numbers by the end of 2015. The state expects an additional 130,000 to enroll by next June 30, and to for that number to be 162,000 in additional enrollees by June 30, 2015.
But because of their defiant anti-Obamacare stance, they’ll not receive the 100% reimbursement for the first three years of the program but only partial reimbursement under the traditional old program. Under it, South Caroline receives 70% federal reimbursement for Medicaid enrollees.
But that is their right. When the the United States Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, it also determined that states didn’t have to comply, and most Republican-led states have decided not to expand.
South Carolina, headed by Republican Governor Nikki Haley, is one of those states that rejected the expansion. Its past Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer compared helping the poor to feeding stray animals.
And that state so despises the AHA, a law that would cheapen the cost of providing healthcare to people it already has to offer coverage to anyway, that its GOP-controlled legislature this week became the first state to fast-track a state law that would exempt individuals and businesses from having to comply with the law altogether. (Now whether this law, if passed, would withstand a certainly inevitable judicial challenge, is another story altogether.)
And the thing is most of South Carolina new enrollees will be children.
South Carolina ranks near the bottom, 43rd, for children well-being, according to a recent McClatchy study of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
It all seems so anti productive because one way or another, the State will have to provide for all of its currently poor Medicaid-eligible residents (including those who qualify but had no clue) anyway.
Good job South Carolina!
Defiance and ideological opposition costs. And apparently, the South Carolina tax payers will foot the bill.
Jeneba “JJ Ghatt”,is editor at Jenebapeaks.com, an online hub where she helps social media butterfly who empowers digital entrepreneurs and professionals to create great things online at her online learning platform Digital Publishing Academy. She is an editor of tech blog Techyaya.com and founded the annual 200 Black Women to Follow On Twitter List. Read her bio, then get all of her online & digital biz startup advice and tools in one spot here!