Haley inaccurate about federal programs

October 21, 2013 

During her visit to the River Hills Lions Club, World Sight function, Gov. Nikki Haley made it clear she believes state governments work better than the federal government, and she will always fight federal intrusion.

She later addressed the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) and the Common Core educational guidelines. Unfortunately, she was wrong about her details and understanding of both programs, thus misleading the audience.

On the care act, she stated the federal government would pay 90 percent of the expanded Medicaid costs for the first three years (but what good is that if we don’t have the first dollar?) and then take that away afterward. (How mean is that?)

In fact, had South Carolina expanded Medicaid, the federal government would shoulder the entire tab for these new participants the first three years then gradually reduce that to 90 percent by 2020 and then remain at 90 percent forever.

Because South Carolina chose not to join the program, we will have significantly more poor citizens with no health care coverage, about 100,000. This will put an additional burden on emergency rooms and drive up medical costs for everyone else. It was a poor decision financially and morally.

A question from the audience addressed the Common Core State Standard Initiative. Haley labeled this another federal program that hurts students. An example was because homework is no longer graded, this reduces her daughter’s accountability. She did not reveal Common Core was initiated by the National Governors Association in concert with the Council of Chief State School Officers and is therefore state-based even if federally administered. Nothing in the standards require specific teaching techniques, such as whether homework is graded. Haley’s daughter’s homework grading was decided by her school system alone. There happens to be a trend toward analyzing gaps in homework instead of grading, but neither system is required or disallowed by Common Core.

It is unconscionable for the state’s chief executive to use wrong information for her political purposes whether intentional or from ignorance. It is worse if she is basing decisions important to the citizens of South Carolina on such misinformation.

Nick Rounds is a Lake Wylie resident.

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