As directed by the delegates at their April 2015 convention, the League of Women Voters of South Carolina has conducted a two year study on health care in South Carolina. The purpose of the study is to develop a position statement that the LWVSC can use as the basis for action.
Priorities included such choices as low income individuals, providing basic health care, providing mental health care, covering prescription drugs, fostering access to health care in rural areas, prioritizing health care for children, and making co-pays based on income.
LWVCA believes that all priorities come under the definition of basic health care as adopted by LWVUS. It is not useful to select one category of health care or population over another.
LWVCA recommends the SC health care priorities should be as follows:
A.) Expansion of health insurance so that basic health care, as defined by the LWVUS, is available, accessible and affordable to all vulnerable populations by the following:
B.) Filling the gap in coverage for individuals and families with too much income to qualify for Medicaid but not enough income to buy coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
C.) Creating affordable insurance policies that provide coverage for basic health care with reasonable co-pay (possibly based on income) and without high minimum thresholds.
Use Medicaid expansion, encouraging insurers to offer more affordable and portable plans.
However, we srongly recommend rewording of the SCLWV position as follows: The League supports efforts to address lifestyle health issues, including but not limited to, obesity and tobacco use. For example, in areas identified as "food deserts," possible efforts could include nutrition education and physical activity opportunities.
There was consensus that the League role should be to support the work of groups working on these issues rather than taking a lead position.
What Now? The LWVSC board will evaluate the reports and will propose a state-wide position that incorporates the views of a substantial number of members. The position will be considered at state convention in April 2017. If adopted by the delegates, the state board can take action on it immediately.
Position: A statement of the League's point of view on an issue, arrived at through member study and agreement (consensus or concurrence), approved by the appropriate board and used as a basis for League action.