Healthcare serves as a “vote-decider” for some S.C. voters

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“Refusing to expand Medicaid is a form of manslaughter,” said Robert Geter, 58, of Columbia, S.C.

The issue of health care appears to be a deciding factor when it comes to some voters participating in the 2014 S.C. gubernatorial election.

When asked how they felt about the issue of health care and the positions S.C. Sen. Vincent Sheheen, the Democratic candidate, and S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, the Republican candidate, have taken on the pertinent issue of health care, prospective voters gave me feelings from both ends of the spectrum.

“While I may not personally be in need of Medicaid, I know a lot of people in the community who are,” says Geter, who has worked for the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation department for more than 20 years.

“There are a lot of struggling families in this city, the state’s capital, might I add. That says something,” said Geter.

Sheheen is an advocate for the expansion of Medicaid and states in his platform that not expanding Medicaid leaves up to 200,000 South Carolinians without health coverage, with 32 percent of these citizens being senior citizens and veterans.

Haley does not support the expansion of Medicaid, and has referred to the program as “a broken system.”

But to say she doesn’t support the expansion is an understatement. The governor has refused the expansion of the program several times while in office and is okay with potential resources being used to do such be allocated to other states.

“We can’t really afford it,” said Philip Rainwater, 23, University of South Carolina finance major and native of Clemson, S.C. “Why go into more debt in an attempt to do something we know that we can’t afford for the start.

“Haley has the right idea when it comes to the ‘affordable’ healthcare act, and that is one of the main reasons she will get my vote,” Rainwater added, throwing up air quotes when saying the word “affordable”.

The healthcare issue has even had an influence on some voters inadvertently.

“I have no idea what healthcare even means in the world of politics. I just know it has to deal with people being able to go to the doctor and get treatment without having to pay out of pocket…well I think, at least,” said Kayce Booth, 20, University of South Carolina biology major and native of Clemson, S.C.

“Even though I don’t know much, my parents are voting for Haley because she’s not expanding Medicaid; they said it will be less money out of their pockets.

Being a naïve college student who knows almost nothing about politics and what’s going on, I’m voting for the same person as my parents.”

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