Republican state Sen. Mike Rose has a serious message for South Carolina lawmakers: if you don’t vote to let states take over Medicare from the federal government, the ghosts of your Confederate ancestors will be very angry with you when you meet them in Heaven.
In a debate Wednesday afternoon over legislation that would authorize South Carolina to effectively nullify all federal health care laws, Sen. Mike Rose told legislators who opposed the bill:
When you get to Judgment Day and see our maker, and we see all these other people — our ancestors who fought in the confederacy for states’ rights when nullification did not work, when the Civil War did not work — how will you look them in the eye?
This legislation which supposedly has our dead Confederate forefathers so up in arms is called the Interstate Healthcare Compact, which would allow South Carolina “to suspend the operation of all federal laws, rules, regulations, and orders regarding health care that are inconsistent with the laws, rules, regulations, and orders adopted by the member state pursuant to this compact.”
State autonomy of programs like Medicare and Medicaid would allow South Carolina to change eligibility standards and reduce services, cutting payments to providers and shifting costs onto the poor and elderly.
“Medicare has been in place long enough that people are comfortable with it, and I’m not going to vote to change it,” said Democratic Sen. Brad Hutto, who argued that since Republicans deride President Obama’s Affordable Care Act as “Obamacare,” the Republican health care takeover in South Carolina should be called “Haley-Don’t-Care.”
As a compromise, Sen. Hutto successfully introduced an amendment which would require that any action the state takes with regard to Medicare needs to be specifically voted on by the legislature. The amendment passed 37-1.
As lawmakers voted 24-13 to give the amended bill a third reading, Democratic Sen. Phil Leventis accused many on the right of looking through rose-colored glasses at the country’s health care system.
“To defend this system and say an individual can make their way through this labyrinth of private health care companies is just a sham,” Leventis commented, adding that the idea of giving a massive federal health care system over to the states is ridiculous.
“Do we want a national defense based on the resources and actions of individual states?” he asked. “Fine me one country that does that, and then we can talk about it.”