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GOP Agenda Could Raise SC Health Care Costs

Republicans in Congress, including Senator Tim Scott, are pushing a budget plan that would make trillions of dollars in cuts to essential programs.

As the GOP remains “intentionally vague” about where these cuts would come from, evidence from past statements, proposals, and previous budget plans provide a preview: Virtually every Republican budget or fiscal plan over the last decade has included repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and deep cuts to Medicaid.

In South Carolina specifically, presidential hopefuls Nikki Haley and Tim Scott have spent years pushing to repeal the Affordable Care Act and advocating for cuts to Medicaid. As governor, Nikki Haley made it clear that she would “not expand Medicaid. Ever,” and she has repeatedly voiced her support for repealing the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, Tim Scott voted with Donald Trump and the rest of his MAGA buddies to repeal the Affordable Care Act and has voiced his opposition to allowing states to expand Medicaid.

Here’s how South Carolinians could suffer if Republicans are successful in repealing the Affordable Care Act and making deep cuts to Medicaid:

  • At least 914,000 South Carolinians with pre-existing conditions could lose critical protections currently provided by the Affordable Care Act.
  • Over 347,000 South Carolinians could lose protection against catastrophic medical bills. Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans were not required to limit enrollees’ total costs, meaning that people could be exposed to tens of thousands of out-of-pocket medical bills for serious illness.
  • Over 371,000 South Carolinians who are currently enrolled in Affordable Care Act plans will be at risk of losing their health insurance coverage with ACA repeal.
  • 1.2 million South Carolinians with Medicaid could be at risk of losing critical services, or coverage, including over 638,000 children. South Carolina has one of the largest shares of its population enrolled in Medicare and has still not expanded it thanks to governors like Nikki Haley. If Republicans slash federal funding it would make it harder to qualify for, and enroll in, Medicaid coverage.
  • Over 116,000 seniors and people with disabilities in South Carolina and thousands of nursing home residents could receive worse care under Republicans’ proposed cuts to Medicaid. Over 60 percent of nursing home residents are currently covered by Medicaid, and cuts to the program would almost certainly force homes to raise costs.
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