Gov. Nikki Haley has vetoed two bills, one that would make it more difficult to start addiction treatment programs and another that expands access to the state health insurance plan to a non-state group.
In letter sent to lawmakers Monday, Haley outlined her objections to S. 586 and S. 232.
S. 232 would allow the Department of Health and Environmental Control to regulate certain facilities that treat drug addiction. The bill would require such facilities to require a Certificate of Need, which can become a political process among competing health care providers.
"I believe the Certificate of Need program creates unnecessary regulation for the healthcare market," Haley wrote. The CON process allows government to ration care, stifle competition in the medical field, and pick which facilities and practices are allowed to succeed."
Haley's former employer, Lexington Medical Center, was once denied DHEC approval for a heart surgery center. The hospital eventually negotiated a compromise with competitors after several years.
The second bill targeted by Haley, S. 586, would expand eligibility for the state health insurance plan to legislatively-created agencies or special purpose districts. Haley argued that would include public-private entities, non-profits and associations that receive no state funds. Haley said the state has a $9 billion unfunded liability for health insurance costs over the next 30 years.
"Taxpayers and current participants in the system are facing enough financial burdens," Haley wrote, "and should not have to worry about further risks to already unsustainable systems."
Both houses need a two-thirds majority of those voting to override Haley's veto.