S.C. Does Good, Uncle Sam Rewards Us With Money

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According to The Business Journal of Greenville, Spartanburg & Anderson, Uncle Sam has awarded S.C. $2.38 million in Medicaid bonus money for doing the right thing, making it simpler for low-income families to enroll their kids in the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The performance bonus payments are funded under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act. To qualify, states must surpass a specified Medicaid enrollment target. They also must adopt procedures that improve access to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, making it easier for eligible children to enroll and retain coverage.

Performance bonuses help offset the costs states incur when enrolling lower-income children in Medicaid. By ensuring that states streamline their enrollment and renewal procedures, the bonuses also give states the incentive to adopt long-term improvements in their children’s health insurance programs.

Of course, this is the first time South Carolina has qualified for the federal bonus program, given our long and hallowed tradition of scorning the poor. S.C. Appleseed has fought for years to get the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services to implement the bureaucratic efficiencies that only now have qualified us for this much needed federal funding. Unfortunately, the Sanford administration always was for ideology over individuals, even if that meant adhering to a policy that contradicted another of its closely held principles. In this case, that meant having separate state agencies duplicate each others’ work, thereby slowing and complicating the Medicaid enrollment process.

You read that correctly: The Sanford administration – that full-throated champion of drowning government in the bathtub – insisted that a bloated, redundant and wasteful state bureaucracy was preferable to helping low-income children access quality health care through Medicaid.

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