Friday, December 03, 2010

Haley: Obama might let S.C. opt out of health care

Haley says she told Obama that South Carolina could not afford the health care mandate, and that it would cripple small businesses.

"I respectfully asked him to consider repealing the bill," she said, to which he clearly stated he would not. "I pushed him further and said if that's the case, because of states' rights, would you at least consider South Carolina opting out of the program?"

Obama told her he would consider letting South Carolina opt out, she said, if the state could find its own solution that included a state exchange, preventing companies from bumping people for preexisting conditions and allowing insurance pooling.

Haley said she also asked the president if he would honor the federal government's commitment on developing a nuclear waste repository. When he said he would not revisit opening Nevada's Yucca Mountain, "I said, 'Then give us our money back.' "

The site 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas was proposed to house more than 4,000 metric tons of high-level nuclear waste from South Carolina's Savannah River Site. The state and Washington have sued over Obama's attempt to kill plans for the storage site after decades of study.

"SRS has done a good job, but that was a temporary solution. It was never meant to be a permanent solution," Haley said she told him. "The federal government has reneged on its promise, and the people of South Carolina want their money back."

South Carolina's power plants and its customers have contributed more than $1 billion over nearly 30 years to a permanent repository.

She says Obama pledged that he would have Energy secretary Steven Chu call her promptly.

I doubt anyone believes that Obama would actually let a state opt-out, but it's worth a try.  I give Haley credit for standing up to the president and putting him on notice that he's got a fight on his hands.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

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