Columbia, SC — Refusing the Medicaid expansion will actually cost South Carolina more in the long run.
For 2014, 2015 and 2016, the federal government covers 100 percent of the cost of the expansion That drops to 95 percent in 2017 and decreases each year until it reaches 90 percent in 2020, where it remains from there on out.
Citizens of states that refuse the expansion still will have to pay federal taxes that will finance the expansion for participating states. So, if South Carolina rejects the expansion, we not only will be foregoing funds to cover our own citizens, but also will end up paying for other states to cover their citizens — resulting in a double negative for the state’s economy.
If we accept the Medicaid expansion, we still can opt out later if we don’t like it. Effectively, this gives South Carolina the ability to test drive the expansion. So, why not try it out?