Opponents of Health Care Reform Preach Free-Market Solutions While Obstructing A Free, Competitive Market for Health Insurance
COLUMBIA — The future of health care reform in South Carolina might include insurance marketplaces as required by federal law, but this state can’t afford to limit itself to planning for that one scenario, Health and Human Services Director Tony Keck said Thursday.
Keck is one of 12 members on the South Carolina Health Exchange Planning Committee created this past month by Gov. Nikki Haley. The committee, which has removed the word “exchange” from its name, is funded by a $1 million grant from the federal government under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — what conservatives typically call “ObamaCare.”
“We’ve got to be careful about asking the wrong question here,” Keck said. “The grant basically tells you what the questions should be. And that’s a directive from the federal government. But as we’ve had conversations with stakeholders, we want to ask a different question in South Carolina.”
Haley’s transition team was informed of the grant in November, but her office didn’t take action until legislation sponsored by state Rep. Harold Mitchell, D-Spartanburg, to create a state health insurance exchange made headway.
Mitchell has accused Haley of demonizing the word “exchange,” particularly in conversations with tea party supporters, making it impossible for this state to ever create such an entity.
An exchange is a marketplace that allows insurance companies to compete to offer coverage to uninsured people. The federal government will come into South Carolina and create an exchange for this state if certain benchmarks haven’t been met by Jan. 1, 2013. The exchange goes live a year later.
Filed under: Health Care Law Implementation | Tagged: Affordable Care Act, Department of Insurance, Gary Thibault, Health Care Reform, health insurance, John Ruoff, Nikki Haley, Robert Oldendick, South Carolina, South Carolina Fair Share, Tony Keck | Leave a Comment »