The S.C. House has approved an amendment to the state budget that would add an additional $200 million in federal money to state spending to pay for health care programs if the U.S. Congress approves the money.
The U.S. Senate and the U.S. House separately have approved the funding but have yet to work out differences in the bill.
The budget would only spend the money if it comes in. The money would restore in-home services for the disabled, erase a three-prescription cap for those on Medicaid and pay for community-based health care programs designed to treat health issues before they send S.C. residents to more expensive emergency rooms. The House also would add $10.5 million to the Department of Juvenile Justice to keep its wilderness camp programs open.
Six lawmakers voted against the amendment, questioning the wisdom of spending money that state has not received.
"We don't want to promise people something we don't have," said state Rep. Nikki Haley, R-Lexington, who is seeking the GOP nomination for governor.