WHEN THE ISSUE IS THE PRESERVATION OF POWER, REFORM HASN’T GOT A CHANCE In 2013, despite all the rhetoric with which the legislative year began, lawmakers failed to pass a single reform. The question is: Why? Putting aside any unbecoming motivations lawmakers might have had to resist reforms in ethics law, the state’s government structure, […]
MANY SOUTH CAROLINA POLITICIANS HAVE SPOKEN OUT STRONGLY AGAINST OBAMACARE. THEIR ACTIONS TELL A DIFFERENT STORY. In March, Governor Nikki Haley publicly stated that “as long as [she is] the governor of South Carolina, we will not expand Medicaid on President Obama’s watch.” Also in March, House Speaker Bobby Harrell lauded the House budget vote […]
WHAT ARE SOUTH CAROLINA’S OPTIONS? Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (widely known as Obamacare) and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that the law is constitutional, there has been quite a bit of confusion over what states can and cannot control. The High Court’s opinion gave states the option not to expand their […]
State legislators eager to escape Obamacare’s restrictive mandates have united behind the interstate healthcare compact, a single piece of state legislation they expect to free them from having to obey federal law. S 836, recently passed in the Senate [update: it has now passed the House], would make South Carolina an official member of the […]
In recent months, the South Carolina Health Planning Committee has seen presentations by industry experts, academics, lawyers, consultants, and insurance companies on the state’s health insurance market. Its charge? To make policy recommendations regarding the establishment of a health insurance exchange in South Carolina, as outlined within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). […]
Can South Carolina set up its own independent, free market version of a federal “health exchange”? Don’t be fooled.
The South Carolina Health Care Planning Committee continues to meet, but whether it’s accomplishing anything is open to question.
When Congress originally passed the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” the plan was for the federal government to set up a national “health exchange” – a single government-run “market” for health insurance. One small problem: the feds didn’t have the resources to do it. So they made a virtue of necessity and “allowed” states to set up their own health exchanges. Is it possible, then, to create a “market-friendly” health exchange within federal guidelines? Hardly.
A vast number of new federal healthcare regulations are introduced in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), most of which will be enforced through state or federally run health exchanges. The harmless public face of these health exchanges is a web-based “marketplace,” in which the uninsured and small businesses can shop for health insurance plans selected for sale by the government. Behind agency doors, however, these exchanges will act as the primary regulator of the insurance industry within states, approving or rejecting health plans, overseeing new rate and coverage requirements, doling out health insurance subsidies, and enrolling consumers in whichever government program they are eligible for.
What’s the Committee doing? Over the last few months (check out our video coverage), we’ve watched a roomful of policymakers and health care officials struggle to come to grips with the bureaucratic nightmare known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Listening to the governor’s committee attempt to make sense of it is a little like watching Sisyphus roll his boulder up that hill in Hades. Each time the committee members believe they’ve reached consensus on what the law actually means, a new expert or lawyer or consultant contradicts it.