Columbia, SC — As a social worker, I have a hard time accepting that our state wants to turn down the federal funding for Medicaid expansion. The expansion is free to us for the first several years. It is funded by our income taxes, so whether or not we accept it, we are paying for it.
The expansion would cover nearly 330,000 hard-working South Carolinians who have no health insurance. Imagine how preventive care and early detection might improve their lives.
They are young adults like my friend, a woman diagnosed with juvenile diabetes denied insurance by her three employers, who couldn’t afford her medicine and was hospitalized twice while it nearly killed her.
They are people like my former client, a blue-collar worker who couldn’t afford to get a physical because all her money went to family and rent. Her cervical cancer went undiagnosed for far too long. She received Medicaid assistance in the end, but sadly, she is no longer with us.
They are our neighbors, fellow church-goers, the parents of our kids’ friends. They are the people who wait us on in restaurants and build our houses and work on our cars. They deserve health care, just like you and I do.
We’re paying for the expansion; why turn down money that should come to South Carolina? Join me in asking Gov. Nikki Haley and our Legislature to do the right thing for our citizens.