The South Carolina House has already voted down the expansion of Medicaid proposed under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, commonly referred to as “ObamaCare,” and there’s no certainty the Senate will approve it, either. Nevertheless, the Laurens County Health Care System’s Board of Directors – many of whom apparently have serious concerns about the act – voted last night to go on record asking that our state expand Medicaid. As Chairman Mike Ellison said, the Supreme Court approved it during a constitutional test and the President who pushed for it was re-elected, so “It’s the law of the land.” He asked Hospital Board members to join in signing the resolution, which points out that under the Affordable Care Act, funds toSouth Carolinahospitals are being cut by 2.6 billion dollars over the next four years. It notes that failure of the state to expand Medicaid means our state is refusing to accept over $11 billion dollars in the next four years. These funds would be used to provide medical care to 250,000 currently uninsured low-income residents of our state. The Resolution of the Hospital Board last night also points out that failure to expand Medicaid will also be difficult for hospitals in the state who are loosing $2.6 billion underADAwithout being able to benefit by being paid the $11 billion for low income residents who would then have insurance to cover their hospital bills.
Meanwhile, Hospital CEO Rich D’Alberto told the board last night that our state Hospital Association and Chamber of Commerce are looking into other options to see if there is another way of accessing these federal funds without state participation. He did not predict this concept would be successful. As to the fact that it appears unlikely our state will approve Medicaid expansion this year, D’Alberto said the effort will continue next year.