The low-income uninsured are just not worthy

The low-income uninsured are just not worthy

“Primary care is very important.  Preventative care is very important.”

Those were Governor Nikki Haley’s comments last week in regard to a new healthcare pilot project to start next year for the 18,000 employees of the Medical University of South Carolina.  Employees will choose from all the primary care doctors of MUSC for their medical home.  The employees will even have case managers to help them get the healthcare they need.

In addition to possibly better healthcare, the State Budget and Control Board voted to support the project in order to hold down healthcare costs for the employees and the state.

Said Haley, “If you focus in those two (primary and preventive care), it should be very effective.”

Too bad the Governor doesn’t want to provide primary and preventative healthcare to approximately 200,000 low income uninsured South Carolinians.  That’s how many who do not qualify for the state’s current Medicaid program but won’t earn enough to qualify for premium assistance in the new health insurance marketplace that opens October 1st.  Abandoned by the state of South Carolina, they will just continue to be uninsured while those with less income and those with more will receive insurance with the help of government.

Tony Keck, who runs the state’s Medicaid program, told the New York Times that, “Our mission is to purchase the most health for our citizens in need, at the least possible cost to the taxpayer.”

For those 200,000 uninsured citizens, the Governor and our Legislature have decided that the least possible cost for their healthcare needs is zero; simply don’t offer them health insurance.  But they could have also spent nothing and provided health insurance.

The feds were willing to pay 100% to put these low income citizens on Medicaid for three years.  Had we done that, these uninsured would have had primary and preventative healthcare and we would have reduced the cost-shifting for uncompensated medical care that causes premiums for the insured to go up.  But that would have required our rabidly partisan government officials to agree that these 200,000 citizens were worthy of good healthcare at zero South Carolina taxpayer-cost under Obamacare.