I found it interesting that Nikki Haley, whose former employment by Lexington Medical Center raised ethical questions from many, once again vetoed funding for the operation of the Certificate of Need program.
If you’ll recall, several years back, when Lexington Medical was fighting to get a certificate to do open-heart surgery, the CON process was the bête noire of Lexington County politicians. The state bureaucrats had let Palmetto Health start an open-heart program, so why were they picking on Lexington County?
That issue is now behind them, after a deal struck by Providence and Lexington that allowed Lexington one of the Catholic hospital’s certificates. So folks in her old district by no means benefit from her defunding the program.
In fact, they wouldn’t have back in the day, I suppose — since this action doesn’t obviate the legal requirement for a CON; it just prevents the state from having the means to process one.
And today, this veto — unfortunately sustained by the House — positively harms her former employer, since Lexington is awaiting a CON for a $7.9 million expansion of its radiation-treatment facility.
So no one can accuse the governor from playing hometown favorites with this veto. No, her sin in this case looks to be mere blind, foolish, destructive ideology.