There’s a growing number of Republican-run states accepting Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, at least at the gubernatorial level, but South Carolina isn’t one of them. Gov. Nikki Haley (R) ruled out the possibility months ago, despite the pleas of South Carolina hospital administrators and public-health officials.
In fact, physicians in South Carolina are still hoping to change the state’s policy against Medicaid expansion, lobbying legislators this week on a White Coat Day organized by the South Carolina Hospital Association. Will it succeed? Consider the take of one insider.
Rep. Kris Crawford, a Republican from Florence and also an emergency room doctor, supports the expansion but expects the Republican caucus to vote as a block against the Medicaid expansion.
“The politics are going to overwhelm the policy. It is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House right now, especially for the Republican Party,” Crawford said.
As it turns out, “the politics” were so successful in “overwhelming the policy” that Crawford himself voted against the policy he said he supports.
Kris Crawford, a Florence emergency room doctor, says he thinks South Carolina should accept billions of federal dollars to help pay the health care costs for poor people – also known as Obamacare.
There are only two problems: Crawford is a Republican, and he is a member of the state House of Representatives. So on Tuesday, when it was time to vote on whether to accept the money, Crawford voted not to accept it.
For what it’s worth, Crawford still supports Medicaid expansion as part of “Obamacare,” and regrets the way his party is concerned more about the “political argument” than the “policy discussion.”
So why did he vote with his party? Crawford cited procedural concerns, and wants the issue to be considered outside the state budget process. He intends to propose separate legislation later this year.