Lawmakers seek answers, say SC quietly taking health care funds
COLUMBIA — Five state lawmakers led by Rep. Bakari Sellers, D-Bamberg, have requested an audit of the S.C. Department of Insurance to account for dollars that have been awarded to, and perhaps spent by, the state of South Carolina under the federal health care reform act.
He added: “I hope we’re not hoarding information as well as hoarding dollars.”
At least $16.8 million has been awarded to the state under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services fact sheet. That includes a $1 million grant that was applied for and rewarded in September to plan for health insurance exchanges.
“For a very long time, we heard our state wasn’t accepting federal dollars,” Sellers said. “And come to find out, we received (more than) $15 million. I just wanted to make sure we’re using them for the correct purpose.”
The Governor’s Office said Cabinet agencies had only applied for about $2.4 million of the available money and pointed out that it happened under the administration of former Gov. Mark Sanford.
Of that, only about $17,000 has been drawn down from the federal government — but a recent executive order makes the $1 million available to study exchanges, said Tim Pearson, chief of staff for Gov. Nikki Haley.
“The Legislative Audit Council is always welcome to come in and look at our agencies. We’ve always said that,” he said. “I think they’ll come in and find the Department of Insurance is doing what it’s supposed to do.”
Filed under: Health Care Law Implementation | Tagged: $16.8 million, ACA, Affordable Care Act, Bakari Sellers, Dan Cooper, Doug Brannon, Gov. Nikki Haley, Harold Mitchell, Health Care Reform, Legislative Audit Council, Rita Allison, South Carolina, Steve Parker, Tim Pearson | Leave a Comment »