South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
Photo: AP

Why would the South Carolina House pass legislation that makes the implementation of Obamacare a criminal act, and why would South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley support the bill?

As Rep. James Clyburn points out, South Carolina has one of the most jacked-up metrics in the nation for health outcomes, and almost 20 percent of the state’s residents are uninsured.

Shouldn’t South Carolina welcome help from the federal government, particularly when the state’s Medicaid rolls are increasing?

Implementing Obamacare – as much as I would prefer a more aggressive health care solution – would save South Carolina’s government a ton of money since the Affordable Care Act will expand Medicaid coverage and pay between 90-100 percent of the state’s Medicaid costs. That’s a huge relief from the 50 percent South Carolina pays today.

So, why would South Carolina do something bass-ackwards like outlaw Obamacare?

The most obvious answer is to follow the money.

Gov. Haley’s largest source of 2012 campaign contributions came from health care professionals.

This may explain why the bill, titled the Freedom of Health Care Protection Act, empowers the state’s Attorney General – under “reasonable cause to believe that a person or business is being harmed by implementation” of Obamacare – to bring an action against the offending person or entity.

This begs an important question: will businesses, which I interpret to mean health professionals and their practices, be harmed by Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion?

I won’t take you through a detailed financial analysis, but take a look at this free snapshot of median 2010 doctors’ salaries compiled by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). As examples: gastroenterologists scored $463,955 paychecks that year; dermatologists, $430,874; family practice physicians, $189,402.

These nationwide salaries assume a number of these professionals already accept  Medicaid. And yes, Medicaid pays lower rates to physicians than private insurance will.

Given how most sources estimate that medical practice overhead expenses can range from 45-60 percent, which makes practice revenues roughly twice the amount of of the salaries I just stated, would accepting more Medicaid cases from brand-new patients bankrupt these healthy six-figure earners? Likely not…

song currently stuck in my head: “change for me (joey negro club mix)” – erro

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