Monday, December 13, 2010

South Carolina Rations Health Care to Elderly and Disabled. Republicans who Cried the Loudest about Rationing…are Rationing.

Gov. Mark Sanford doesn't believe in government, despite taking his paycheck and benefits, and apparently doesn't believe the elderly and disabled are important enough to help:

CNBC: COLUMBIA, S.C. - The state's Medicaid program plans to stop paying for adult dental, vision and hospice services and cut home health visits by a third for the state's elderly and disabled in February … the agency plans to eliminate routine infant circumcisions, cut prescription drug benefits and shoes for diabetics … even include umbrella and crutch holders for people who use wheelchairs while telling people to use powered wheelchairs for seven years instead of five before they can be replaced.
That’s not all. While Republicans push for tax cuts for the wealthy, the poor aren’t so lucky: The Department of Social Services has a $29 million deficit even after announcing plans to cut 20 percent from welfare checks beginning in February and the Department of Corrections is $7.5 million in the red and will close a prison if it doesn't get an OK.
The free market ability to negotiate is not applicable, for some reason, to government:

South Carolina is the only state in the nation where legislators have barred reducing payments to doctors and hospitals. Columbia dentist Jim Mercer, questioned plans to save $3.6 million by eliminating that care for 43,500 people. "Those emergencies aren't going to go away," he said. Instead those people will likely seek care at an emergency room, which can be more expensive.”
Low tax states have a problem don’t they? With “no new tax” promises from conservative politicians, and no flexibility to change with the times, rationing is the only option.

Health and Human Services director Emma Forkner said, "Yes, people will shift. Yes, care will have to move about. There's just simply is no more money in the state to pay for these things. I just can't reiterate it enough."

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