COLUMBIA, SC – South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius ahead of the Saturday deadline for states to decide if they intend to participate in the health exchange program created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Haley’s letter informed Sebelius that South Carolina “should not and will not set up a state-based health care exchange.”
Haley established a committee of South Carolina stakeholders to determine the implications of the state’s participation in the program. After several months of research and public hearings, that committee recommended to Haley that South Carolina not participate.
Under PPACA, the governor wrote, “the federal government is required to establish exchanges and gave individual states the choice to participate. Yet, as we worked through the process of analyzing options available to South Carolina, it became abundantly clear that state ‘participation’ was in name only.”
“[T]he law’s state-based exchange programs are not state-based at all. Instead, they simply pass along to the state the burdens of a new and cumbersome bureaucracy,” she continued.
Additionally, Haley called for federal officials to provide all states with clear guidance on how state-based, partnership, and federally-facilitated exchanges will work or to delay the implementation deadline.
Two of South Carolina’s representatives in Washington, Senator Jim DeMint and Congressman Jeff Duncan, applauded Haley for refusing to participate in the program.
“I applaud Governor Haley for putting the people of South Carolina first, and saying ‘no’ to this monstrous and inefficient ObamaCare program,” Duncan said. “As I’ve said from the beginning, ObamaCare interferes with doctor/patient relationships, costs too much money, doesn’t improve the quality of medical care, and is a major abuse of federal power. I’m proud of South Carolina’s decision, and am hopeful that more states will follow suit.”
Senator DeMint echoed Duncan’s sentiments.
“Her decision will help shield South Carolina from job destroying tax increases on state businesses, save taxpayers millions of dollars in set up costs, and allow our state to fight for health care solutions that don’t limit choices of families and doctors,” DeMint said. ObamaCare is already failing, forcing businesses across the country to cut back wages and hours while increasing health care costs and things will only get worse. We must continue to fight for full repeal of this government takeover and for commonsense solutions that expand health care freedom.”