Gov. Nikki Haley gets strong marks from voters, according to those surveyed in a poll this week. But a majority of those voters also disagree with Haley's opposition to a proposal by S.C. hospitals to voluntarily raise their taxes in order to stave off cuts to the state-run health care program for the poor and disabled.
Forty-five percent of those surveyed rated Haley's job performance as "excellent" or "good," according to the Monday telephone poll of 600 voters who cast ballots in the 2010 elections, conducted by Democratic-affiliated firm Crantford Research. About 29 percent rated Haley's job performance as "fair" or "poor." A quarter of voters were undecided.
A majority of those surveyed, 55 percent, said they supported an idea proposed by hospitals to increase voluntarily the $260 million in taxes that they pay annually to help offset cuts to the Medicaid program.
The state Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Medicaid, has sought to reduce what doctors and hospitals are paid for treating the poor and disabled. However, the hospitals argue that increasing the tax that they pay -- which could receive a $3 in federal matching money for every $1 raised locally -- makes more economic sense than cutting payments to hospitals and doctors.
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Health and Human Services director Anthony Keck has said Haley would not support the tax increase.
According to the poll, 18 percent of those surveyed opposed the tax hike idea while 28 percent were undecided.
The poll also showed majorities of those surveyed supported bills allowing churches and charities to hold raffles to raise money as well as a bill allowing private poker games among friends.
Fifty-eight percent supported charity raffles, while 13 percent opposed and 29 percent were undecided. Poker drew stronger support, with 69 percent of those surveyed approving of a bill to legalize kitchen-table-top poker. Fourteen percent opposed the idea and 17 percent were undecided.