Gov. Haley calls hospital tax increase 'immoral'

Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 10:19 AM
Last updated 11:48 AM
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COLUMBIA — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley ruled out plans to raise hospital bed taxes to help cover a Medicaid deficit.

Haley said today that hospitals are immoral for backing what she says amounts to passing the buck to consumers.

She says hospitals are deceiving people by talking up the proposal to reduce a $663 million deficit looming over the state's Medicaid program in the upcoming fiscal year.

The Department of Health and Human Services is $225 million short for the current fiscal year but won a $100 million bailout from the state's financial oversight board last week.

Haley says legislators have to give the Medicaid agency flexibility to set rates. She also is backing a state audit of the agency to make sure it is not wasting money.

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