There seems to be a new communications director over at the SC Democratic Party – Kristin Sosanie — and she put out a release today that is somewhat more substantive and detailed than the emotional, nyah-nyah stuff we usually get from political parties.
I found it interesting, and relevant, enough to pass on in its entirety:
March 7, 2013
To: Interested Parties
From: Kristin Sosanie, SCDP Communications Director
RE: Governor Haley at odds with rising tide of public opinion on Medicaid expansion
As the debate over Medicaid expansion continues, support for bringing tax dollars back home is echoing around South Carolina and Governor Haley is on the defensive trying desperately to explain her choice to put partisanship ahead of the best interests of the people of the state.
Let’s review: In the past week alone, members of the public, hospital leaders, businesses, state leaders and editorial boards have all spoken out in support of the expansion:
Survey finds majority in SC support Medicaid expansion. “More than half of older adults in the state disagree with Gov. Nikki Haley’s plan to turn down Medicaid expansion, according to a survey by the AARP. The survey found that 54 percent of the respondents support expanding Medicaid to cover low-income adults.” [The State, 03/06/13]
Head of S.C. hospital group says politics blocking Medicaid expansion. “There is a lot of ideology and politics in this debate — it is not just a financial question,” said Thornton Kirby, the state hospital association’s president and chief executive officer. He said South Carolina and other Republican-leaning states “don’t want anything to do” with a federal health-care reform initiative championed by President Barack Obama. [Independent Mail, 03/04/13]
Charleston Chamber to Gov. Haley: accept Medicaid expansion. “There are two options,” said Bryan Derreberry, president and CEO of the local Chamber. “South Carolina can accept the Medicaid expansion and receive 90 percent of costs from the federal government, or reject the plan and absorb 100 percent of the costs and lose revenue from Washington, D.C.” [The Examiner, 03/07/13]
Editorial: Expanding Medicaid in SC. “The only conceivable reason to reject the expansion of Medicaid would be to make a hollow political statement in opposition to Obamacare. But that is political grandstanding at the cost of losing billions of federal dollars to other states and denying health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of uninsured South Carolinians. And that, we think, would be impossible to justify.” [Rock Hill Herald, 03/02/13]
Sheheen: SC lawmakers should put ideology aside, accept Medicaid expansion money. “I call on Gov. (Nikki) Haley and every Democrat and every Republican to heed the example of other states and provide leadership that will mean more tax dollars in South Carolina that belong to South Carolinians,” the Camden Democrat said. [Associated Press, 03/07/13]
Also remember: Governor Haley is out on a ledge as Republican governors around the country (many of whom have been staunch opponents of Obamacare) have put partisanship aside and decided to act in the best interests of the people of their states by opting-in:
Florida Governor Rick Scott: “I Cannot In Good Conscience Deny Floridians That Needed Access To Health Care.” “‘While the federal government is committed to paying 100 percent of the cost, I cannot in good conscience deny Floridians that needed access to health care,’ Mr. Scott said at a news conference. ‘We will support a three-year expansion of the Medicaid program under the new health care law as long as the federal government meets their commitment to pay 100 percent of the cost during that time.’” [New York Times, 2/20/13]
Ohio Governor John Kasich: “Ohio Taxpayer Dollars Are Coming Back To Ohio.” “Kasich has said his proposed Medicaid expansion would save the state $235 million over the next two years, free about $100 million in local funds for mental-health and addiction services, and ‘Ohio taxpayer dollars are coming back to Ohio to support a significant need we have which is the insurance, the health coverage of poor, working Ohioans.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 2/12/13]
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: “We Are Putting People First” – Not Expanding Medicaid Would Send Taxpayer Dollars Elsewhere. “‘[R]efusing these federal dollars would not mean that they wouldn’t be spent. It just means that they will be used to expand health-care access in New York, Connecticut, Ohio or somewhere else. … It’s simple. We’re putting people first.’” [NPR, Political Junkie, 3/4/13]
Finally: Governor Haley’s chief points of opposition have been debunked by researchers at the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business, who found that the economic benefit of bringing taxpayers’ dollars back in-state would create 44,000 jobs in South Carolina.
Medicaid Expansion in South Carolina: The economic impact of the ACA. “By 2020, the total annual economic impact of the increase in federal funding due to the ACA Medicaid expansion on the state of South Carolina will total approximately $3.3 billion in economic output, $1.5 billion in labor income, and support nearly 44,000 new jobs for South Carolinians. Approximately one – third of these jobs (15,000) are projected to occur outside of the health care industry due to the economic multiplier effect.” [USC Moore School of Business Report December 2012, accessed 03/07/13]
So, in the face of such widespread support, two questions remain: How long will Governor Haley continue to make decisions based on ideology? And what will she say to South Carolinians who lose their jobs because of her Tea Party allegiance?