- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Recent editorials from South Carolina newspapers:

July 30

The Post and Courier, Charleston, South Carolina, on expediting Medicaid applications:

Medicaid expansion remains a topic of heated debate. So do numerous other aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

But there should be no debate about the need to give Americans who apply for Medicaid fair - and prompt - notification of whether they are eligible for the program.

Unfortunately, though, as reported on Tuesday’s front page by Lauren Sausser, that need is not being met in our state.

The story began: “Thousands of South Carolina residents who filed for Medicaid between October and mid-July are still waiting to find out if they qualify for the government’s low-income health insurance program.”

While most Medicaid applications “are typically approved or denied within six days, the state agency responsible for processing the paperwork hasn’t been able to keep pace with an influx from HealthCare.gov.”

That’s despite the fact that South Carolina is one of the two dozen states that have not agreed to participate in the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility up to 138 percent of the federal poverty income level.

S.C. Department of Health and Human Services director Tony Keck has responded to the Medicaid-application backlog by putting more employees on the job of reducing it and implementing new “productivity standards.”

While it’s of no consolation to the thousands of South Carolinians waiting to learn where they stand with Medicaid, our state evidently isn’t as far behind on this obligation as some others.

Keck told our reporter that there “is a plan in place” to fix this mess.

The sooner, the better.



Story Continues →