If left unchecked, government-run health insurance for the poor in the state will start draining the cash South Carolina has to pay for its other top priorities, including public schools and law enforcement.
The state’s Medicaid program is projected to cost $228 million more than lawmakers budgeted to spend on it this fiscal year. And the shortfall at the state Department of Health and Human Services is just a preview of the budget crisis awaiting the state in July. That is when the $1 billion in federal stimulus cash that’s propping up this year’s $5 billion spending plan runs out.
So what happens next? Lawmakers said they will have to find some way to balance the books after they return to session in January, cutting unnamed programs and services to keep the Department of Health and Human Services afloat.
Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell said the Medicaid program will overrun the budget without some cost-controls put in place at the Health and Human Services Department.