Last week, you heard from Sam Martin, one of the 317,000 South Carolinians who has gained health care coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act. But it’s not just folks like Sam who are at risk of serious harm if the ACA is repealed. In order to fund a huge tax cut for millionaires and billionaires, the Republican bill would cut Medicaid not just to pre-ACA levels, but far lower. Who would this harm? Kids, pregnant women, the disabled, and seniors in nursing homes.
Even if you aren’t on the ACA exchanges or Medicaid, the Republican health care bill could still hurt you. Everyone in my hometown of Barnwell—including those of us with insurance—was negatively affected when Nikki Haley’s refusal to participate in the ACA’s Medicaid expansion forced the closure of Southern Palmetto Hospital. We now have to travel many miles for vital emergency health care services, which can sometimes be the difference between life and death.
If the Republican bill’s hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicaid cuts come to fruition, Southern Palmetto’s closure will just be the tip of the spear; Trumpcare would be a crippling blow to the financial viability of health care providers in huge swathes of our state, putting thousands of SC jobs and lives in jeopardy. According to the nonpartisan South Carolina Hospital Association, the Republican bill would “lead to an increase in uninsured South Carolinians and disproportionately impact the state’s poor, elderly and disabled community, as well as healthcare providers.” My community has already experienced the impact of Republican partisanship and ideology, and we know we need to stop them from inflicting more pain. Join me in calling and emailing our senators’ offices and telling them to VOTE NO.
We need to fix the problems in Barnwell, not replicate them throughout the rest of the state. I proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with all of you in this fight.
State Representative, District 91; Chair, Barnwell County Democratic Party