‘Doctors for Sheheen,’ and more on the Medicaid expansion that wasn’t

This release came over the transom last night:

Sheheen Campaign Launches “Doctors for Sheheen”
Doctors want an honest leader like Vincent Sheheen who puts South Carolinians ahead of personal political gain 
Camden, SC – Today, Sheheen for South Carolina launched “Doctors for Sheheen,” a grassroots effort uniting Democratic and Republican doctors and medical professionals from around the state who want a governor to put politics aside, do what’s right for the people, and use tax dollars responsibly and honestly.
Rural hospitals are struggling and closing because of Nikki Haley’s decision to block South Carolinians’ own Medicaid tax dollars from coming back to the state. A study shows that expanding Medicaid would create 44,000 jobs, and help hundreds of thousands of working families. Medical professionals are standing with Vincent Sheheen to restore common sense and honesty to the state’s leadership.
Tonight, Sen. Sheheen will kick-off “Doctors for Sheheen” with a state-wide launch call for supporter in the medical field. Through this grassroots effort, Sen. Sheheen will work with medical professionals on hearing solutions to improve our healthcare system, addressing the financial struggles in rural hospitals, bringing our hard-earned tax dollars back to South Carolina to not only provide coverage to children, veterans and senior citizens, but will also end penalties on local businesses, and keep billions of dollars in revenue in South Carolina.
Medical professionals across the state are joining Doctors for Sheheen and showing their support for Vincent:
Dr. Donna Miller Potts, Anderson County:
 “As a free clinic volunteer, I come across too many hardworking people every day who don’t receive coverage from their employer, and don’t qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance. They often feel backed into a corner with no options available to them and Governor Haley just doesn’t get it. She allows our federal tax dollars meant to fund local hospitals go to other states. We need Vincent as our governor because we need a governor who actually cares about South Carolina.”
Dr. Theresa Alderson, Kershaw County:
“The biggest problem with the health care debate is too many leaders are worried about the politics instead of being worried about the people. Nikki Haley’s refusal to expand Medicaid in South Carolina makes no sense. Nikki Haley is hurting our economy — leaving tens of thousands of new jobs on the table, and sending billions of our hard-earned tax dollars to other states. This isn’t a matter of political ideology, it’s a matter of common sense. As a doctor, as a Republican, and as a South Carolinian, I believe we need an honest and logical leader who gets it.”
Dr. Charles Rittenberg, Charleston County:
“There are over 200,000 South Carolinians from working families who are going without healthcare because of Governor Haley’s refusal to expand Medicaid. Some of those working South Carolinians or their children could die because Haley has allowed our federal tax dollars, which we’ve already paid, to go to other states. Vincent Sheheen will work with our legislature to correct this problem and, according to a study from the University of South Carolina, the Medicaid expansion with create 44,000 jobs in South Carolina not just in the big cities, but all over the state.”
Dr. Elizabeth Mack, Richland County:
“Throughout my career, working to save children’s lives has been the ultimate privilege. But in recent years, it’s become increasingly difficult to take care of patients. When South Carolina did not accept our Medicaid expansion, insurance premiums spiked for many people. As a result, many patients could not get access to health care. This affects us all. South Carolinians deserve better.”

You know, of all the sins that her critics have tried to pin on Nikki Haley, her deliberate refusal to allow Medicaid expansion is the one in which she most clearly, deliberately and with malice aforethought did the wrong thing.

Seems we’d hear more about it from Sheheen.

And perhaps we will. This morning, the S.C. Democratic party put out this release in that same vein:

Today with Chris Christie, Nikki Haley will claim South Carolina’s economy is booming — but don’t be fooled by her smoke and mirrors. She’s proven time and again that she cannot be trusted.


The truth is: Nikki Haley is sending $11 billion of South Carolinians’ federal tax dollars to states like New Jersey, and she’s blocking 44,000 jobs here at home just because of politics.


Nikki Haley is refusing to  create 44,000 jobs. She’s forcing SC residents to pay Federal taxes that will only help other states. Instead of helping working South Carolinians, she’s opposing the Charleston Chamber and economic interests of MUSC. Here’s your daily reminder of the economic reality for South Carolinians over the past three years, which Nikki Haley has been sweeping under the rug:


Medicaid Expansion in South Carolina would create 44,000 jobs. “By 2020, the total annual economic impact of the increase in federal funding due to the ACA Medicaid expansion on the state of South Carolina will total approximately $3.3 billion in economic output, $1.5 billion in labor income, and support nearly 44,000 new jobs for South Carolinians. Approximately one – third of these jobs (15,000) are projected to occur outside of the health care industry due to the economic multiplier effect.” [USC Moore School of Business Report December 2012, accessed 03/07/13]


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: “We Are Putting People First” – Not Expanding Medicaid Would Send Taxpayer Dollars Elsewhere. “‘[R]efusing these federal dollars would not mean that they wouldn’t be spent. It just means that they will be used to expand health-care access in New York, Connecticut, Ohio or somewhere else. … It’s simple. We’re putting people first.’” [NPR, Political Junkie, 3/4/13]


Head of S.C. hospital group says politics blocking Medicaid expansion. “There is a lot of ideology and politics in this debate — it is not just a financial question,” said Thornton Kirby, the state hospital association’s president and chief executive officer. He said South Carolina and other Republican-leaning states “don’t want anything to do” with a federal health-care reform initiative championed by President Barack Obama. [Independent Mail,03/04/13]


Charleston Chamber to Gov. Haley: accept Medicaid expansion. “There are two options,” said Bryan Derreberry, president and CEO of the local Chamber. “South Carolina can accept the Medicaid expansion and receive 90 percent of costs from the federal government, or reject the plan and absorb 100 percent of the costs and lose revenue from Washington, D.C.” [The Examiner, 03/07/13]


Editorial: Expanding Medicaid in SC. “The only conceivable reason to reject the expansion of Medicaid would be to make a hollow political statement in opposition to Obamacare. But that is political grandstanding at the cost of losing billions of federal dollars to other states and denying health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of uninsured South Carolinians. And that, we think, would be impossible to justify.” [Rock Hill Herald, 03/02/13]



See through Nikki Haley’s smoke & mirrors, read more at www.HaleysSmokeAndMirrors.tumblr.com

14 thoughts on “‘Doctors for Sheheen,’ and more on the Medicaid expansion that wasn’t

  1. Silence

    I’m not impressed. Dr. Potts is a long time Democratic party donor. Dr. Alderson’s been supporting democratic candidates for a while too. Dr. Rittenburg comes from a very prominent Democratic Party family and is cousins with one of Vincent Sheheen’s best friends and fellow SC Senators.

    That said, I doubt we’ll here too much about Medicaid expansion from Sheheen, because it’s not a popular idea in South Carolina, and if he wants to get elected, he can’t play up how liberal his record is. He’s gotta run to the middle and try to peel off some Haley voters. He’s got the liberals in the bag already.

  2. Doug Ross

    In the absence of a today’s headline post, I’ll place this here:

    “PreferredOne, the insurer that sold nearly 60 percent of all private health plans on Minnesota’s Obamacare exchange, on Tuesday said it would leave that marketplace. PreferredOne’s plans were the lowest-cost options on that exchange, known as MNSure. PreferredOne cited the costs of doing business on MNSure as the reason for its surprising decision, saying that selling plans is “not administratively and financially sustainable going forward,” according to KSTP.com, the website of that Minnesota TV News network.”

    I give Obamacare about two years before it comes crashing down… just in time for the 2016 election.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      What does “leave the marketplace” mean? Does that mean they won’t sell through the exchange, but you can get a plan directly? Does it mean they won’t sell in MN anymore? Does it mean they just won’t offer that plan anymore?

      In other news “A total of 1.2 million people have had income inconsistencies since the launch of ObamaCare last year. About 800,000 people have since submitted verification. The federal government is still missing paperwork for nearly a half-million people who signed up for insurance over the last year.”

      “The Obama administration announced Monday it will cut off tax subsidies to about 360,000 people if they do not offer proof of their income in the next two weeks.”

      No kidding, huh? I’ll be interested in seeing the number of the original sign-ups that are still making their payments. Anyone want to take a guess that percentage?

      It’s almost like this whole Obamacare thing isn’t sustainable in the long term, and is just a setup for something else. Nah, that’s just crazy-winger talk.

      1. Doug Ross

        “What does “leave the marketplace” mean? Does that mean they won’t sell through the exchange, but you can get a plan directly? Does it mean they won’t sell in MN anymore? Does it mean they just won’t offer that plan anymore?”

        They will continue to sell insurance in Minnesota. Anyone who purchased a plan through the exchange will be covered until the end of the year and will be expected to select a different (likely more expensive) plan either through the Obamacare website or directly thru an insurer.

  3. Pat

    Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer supported her state’s participation in the Medicaid expansion from the beginning. After her bean counters crunched the numbers and gave her the results, she declared the program to be a win-win for Arizona. This is on AZ’s website today: http://www.azgovernor.gov/Medicaid.asp. Her administration is still pushing the advantages of participating in the program not the least of which seems to be the belief that it will stimulate their economy and put people to work.
    What makes SC so different from AZ?

        1. Harry Harris

          Haley will likely be re-elected, but it won’t be because voters are always right. It will probably be because voters are easily fooled – especially low-information voters who fall for the kind of pandering and well-funded smoke-screen campaigning Gov Haley uses.

          1. Silence

            As opposed to the low-information voters dragged out by the SC Democrats ever election day? The same ones who “mistakenly” voted for Alvin Greene in the Democratic Primary?

          2. Juan Caruso

            The low-information voters easily fooled, Mr. Harris, are not the Haley supporters who frequently comment here. Can you be specific about one serious issue fooling some many Haley supporters?

            Take all the time you wish to come up with facts you dare cite.

            What I see mostly from Haley critics, here, is over the past years is a generalized dislike by “professional” women who dislike conservatives. The war on this woman seems to be is their choice.

            Then there are male lawyers (plenty here) who except for Bryan are fairly flaming liberal, progressive socialists. Any confessions?

  4. Doug Ross

    “In fact according to Kaiser Health News, South Carolina’s 16 percent Medicaid growth rate is larger than the 12 percent average increase in states which approved Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. States which aren’t approving the Obamacare expansion are averaging five percent growth in their Medicaid populations. In other words “Haleycare” is an even bigger expansion of dependency than “Obamacare.”
    According to the Kaiser report, the Palmetto State “is now actively trying to enroll more of those eligible for the program.” “South Carolina has opened an online enrollment system, added 20 positions to its call center and used government databases of people who qualify for food stamps to identify those eligible for Medicaid,” the website notes.

    Read more at http://www.fitsnews.com/2013/11/27/haleycare-creates-massive-medicaid-surge-sc/#KYH5GVhLhg5dhQYT.99

    1. Harry Harris

      Your use of the word “dependency” is telling. Probably revealing your sense of your own supposed non-dependence and the widespread idea that Medicaid expansion is for the non-working poor. It is almost entirely targeted toward those working families who are earning a living, but are not earning enough to pay for coverage and are not getting subsidized coverage through their employer. It’s for working folks.
      The increase in Medicaid enrollment in SC could be from a number of factors, most likely children under the SCHIPS expansion Governors couldn’t turn down, and due to the extra-high level of children in poverty in SC.


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