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5,000 jobs on the line in Medicaid cuts

Mar 11, 2011 1:20:00 PM - thestate.com
S.C. hospitals, doctors and other health care businesses could cut 5,000 jobs if legislators approve a proposal to reduce what medical providers are paid to treat poor and disabled patients, according to a University of South Carolina study.

A spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1, which the S.C. House will debate next week, would cut about $200 million from the state’s current Medicaid spending.

According to the study by USC’s Moore School of Business, a $228 million cut in Medicaid spending by the state — just slightly more than the House proposes to cut — “would potentially lead to losses of 5,452 jobs and approximately $169 million in incomes.”

Department of Health and Human Services director Tony Keck, whose state agency operates the state-run health insurance plan for the poor and disabled, disputes the USC figure. He notes that national and local data shows the health care industry is adding jobs.

However, South Carolina’s health care sector has not yet felt the impact of any Medicaid spending cuts.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)