Is Gov. Haley doing something responsible on health care? (If so, ssshhhh! I don’t want to get her into trouble with her base!)

Down in this story about how Jim DeMint is putting hurting Barack Obama ahead of good health care or saving millions of dollars (and is it supposed to be news that DeMint places ideology over sound policy?), was this bit:

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has shared DeMint’s national spotlight in opposing health care reform, challenging President Obama, first, to repeal the legislation and, later, to speed up a judicial review of its constitutionality.

Outside the spotlight, Haley also is using a $1 million federal grant to see how South Carolina might enact the law if it has to.

Wait, run that by me again? She’s doing what?

But even as she pushes against the health care law, Haley has instructed key agency heads to get ready for its implementation.

“We don’t know what the outcome will be, but for the citizens of South Carolina, we have to be prepared for whatever happens,” said Tony Keck, Haley’s new director of the state Department of Health and Human Services.

“Right now, the law of the land is health care reform,” Keck said. “Although we’re fighting it and looking to produce our own alternatives, we also have to prepare to implement it to meet the deadlines. The risk of not preparing for any eventuality is simply too high in the form of penalties from the federal government and interruption to care.”

The state is using a $1 million grant under the law to evaluate whether it will set up and run its own health insurance exchange or turn that function over to Washington, an option under the law.

Keck and new S.C. Insurance Commissioner David Black are heading up a task force, formed by a Haley executive order and to include members chosen by the General Assembly.

With its first meeting scheduled for April 15, the panel will call in experts from states that already have insurance exchanges, among them California, Massachusetts and Utah….

Normally, this would not be news, either. Away from the TV cameras, most elected officials — regardless of the wacky ideological stuff they may crank out publicly — quietly go about their duty, obeying the law and administering the government as responsibly as they are able.

It’s just that with Nikki Haley, she has gone so far out of her way to irresponsible that are NOT consistent with good stewardship — the Darla Moore fiasco comes to mind — that I find this tidbit reassuring. It may not be much, but I take comfort where I can.

Good for you, governor…

4 thoughts on “Is Gov. Haley doing something responsible on health care? (If so, ssshhhh! I don’t want to get her into trouble with her base!)

  1. Lynn

    The SCDOI has access to Affordable Care Act grants totaling $2.5M for developing a consumer assistance effort (a totally new concept to look out for consumers at DOI), a mechanism to determine if health insurance premiums are “reasonable” and to determine if developing a state based health insurance exchange is feasible and advantageous to SC and if it is how do we do this.

    Now SC can use the planning grant ($1M) to develop an alternative to the individual mandate and request SC opt out of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, assuming the SC way of healthcare can accomplish the same goals as the Affordable Care Act of adequately covering more people, at reasonable rates, that assures access for quality services and costs no more what the Federal Gov’t expects to pay (budget neutral).

    That is a tall order in SC with 1M uninsured and unbalance unfair small group and individual health insurance market dominated by one large health insurance gorilla.

  2. SusanG

    @Brad, this is a journalist question. I feel like so often that I see stories in the media where the most obvious questions a reader would have are not answered (or even acknowledged), and this is one of those. In this case, I noticed that the comments on The State’s website showed that others had the same questions I had — if the device has so much potential, why isn’t the doctor getting private funding? There may be an easy answer for this — but it just rankles me when the paper (or other media) goes on about something, and in this case thinks it’s important enough to put it on the front page — and then doesn’t address questions that their readers would surely have. It’s leaves me feeling like there’s not enough information to even form an opinion about it. (And I’m no lover of Jim deMint’s policies, and I still feel this way!)

  3. Elliott, South Carolina

    I am a voter who votes for candidates from both parties. I did not vote for Haley, and I was terrified that South Carolina had elected another governor so comitted to a wacky ideology that South Carolina would become a terrible place to live for all but the richest 10%. Her appointment of Tony Keck and her willingness to provide necessary funds for Medicaid have caused me to reconsider my views on Haley. I pray that we do have a governor and DSS director who will “quietly go about their duty, obeying the law and administering the government as responsibly as they are able.” I thank God for such state officials.

  4. martin

    Go to the Spartanburg Herald Journal, search “health insurance exchanges” and you will come up with about 6 stories they have run since the beginning of the month. That was when a Spartanbug Senator found out that the Sanford/Haley administrations knew about the $1M grant and had not shared with the Legislature. Upstate Senator Mitchell, I believe is his name, is hot.

    Also in that bunch is a story about some very big businesses in the state, icluding Blue Cross Blue Shield and Piggly Wiggly, as well as some county and city governments, Richland is in there, that are pulling down reimbursements from Obamacare for healthcare expenses for employees 55+ to 65.

    Those guys in Spartanburg have done a great job which would seem to be as big as whose getting appointed to what board and not even the AP seems to be picking up on it.

    I was looking for details on an upstate story a week or two ago, and since I can no longer get into the Greenville News, went to SHJ. I posted a link on this blog when I found it. More has happened since then.

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