|By Adam Beam, The State (Columbia, S.C.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Lawmakers have before them nearly a dozen scenarios, each with varying costs to taxpayers and state employees.
"We can't just, out of hand, dismiss it because it is Obamacare or if (Gov.
The state health plan is growing and getting more expensive every year. It covers 530,000 people, or 11 percent of the state's population. State officials also estimate the plan will owe retirees
Even if the state does not comply with Obamacare, taxpayers will have to come up with another
Complying with Obamacare would be more expensive -- costing up to
"Anytime you can get on the front end of a disease or illness, you can save a lot of money," Merrill said. "But it is also hard to quantify that. You can say you have prevented something, but how do you know that person would ever actually develop X illness in the first place? The actual quantification of that would be very difficult."
One way lawmakers could pay for the screenings is to pass the cost on to state workers. If lawmakers increase employee co-pays by 20 percent and employee premiums by 10.9 percent, it would cost
On the other hand, if lawmakers don't comply with Obamacare and they increase employee co-pays by 20 percent, it would cost the state
"It is very disappointing that (lawmakers) have not had one conversation with the
"If we have all these uninsured people in