Friday letters: Demand deal on health care in S.C.

January 24, 2014 

The Jan. 15 story, “Rival health care rallies greet returning legislators,” said both sides believe that God is on their side in the debate over the expansion of Medicaid to more than 300,000 impoverished South Carolinians.

I have news for the “Truthful Tuesday” protesters: It is most unlikely that their efforts will undermine the statewide dominance of the GOP or soften the hearts of its leaders.

I also have news for the GOP supporters: Their efforts support a wasteful rejection of $4.1 billion that could be diverted, to their significant benefit, to all S.C. hospitals (an option under the Affordable Care Act).

This is so because even the well-insured will, over the next three years, be waiting significantly longer in emergency rooms or neglected longer while in hospital beds.

Yes, those who are well-insured will be inconvenienced or neglected because of legal mandates for our hospitals to treat not only the poor, but also the dramatically increased number of uninsured or underinsured middle-class folks.

Many Democratic and a few Republican legislators have indicated a willingness to divert $4.1 billion to our hospitals over the next three years.

This will only come about as a compromise if ordinary voters, regardless of their political loyalties, pressure their leaders in every plausible way.

John Nicholas Hayes

Charleston

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