COLUMBIA, S.C. (APWCIV) -- Gov. Nikki Haley has told the federal government South Carolina won't set up a state health exchange, saying President Obama's re-election did not change her stance.
In a letter Thursday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Haley says Obamacare's state-based exchange programs simply pass along the burden of a new and cumbersome bureaucracy.
Haley's decision is no surprise. But Sebelius wanted to hear by Friday if states will be setting up health insurance markets under the law.
The insurance exchanges are meant to function as a one-stop online marketplace of private health plans. Under the law, states that can't or won't set up exchanges will have theirs run by Washington.
Haley says the law doesn't provide states flexibility, and too many of the program's regulations remain unknown.
U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., applauded Haley's decision in a statement Thursday:
"Governor Haley should be applauded for standing up for South Carolina patients, doctors, and taxpayers by opposing the creation of an Obamacare exchange in our state," said Senator DeMint. "Her decision will help shield South Carolina from job destroying tax increases on state businesses, save taxpayers millions of dollars in set up costs, and allow our state to fight for health care solutions that don't limit choices of families and doctors. Obamacare is already failing, forcing businesses across the country to cut back wages and hours while increasing health care costs and things will only get worse. We must continue to fight for full repeal of this government takeover and for commonsense solutions that expand health care freedom."