If Not Yes, When? If Not Now, Why Not?

It is absolutely, unequivocally, 100 percent true that one cannot make absolutely everyone, unequivocally, 100 percent happy 100 percent of the time. Still, it is surprising what some people will say ‘No’ to; as if No is in their nature always a better option than Yes, or even Maybe.

Take our governor’s stand against accepting Medicaid expansion. While her reasons for No are her reasons, her alternate plan is a mere shell game of wealth distribution against which her very ideology rails. And it’s a plan that fails to do but very little to help rural hospitals like Fairfield Memorial provide care to the uninsured. Instead of accepting the federal Medicaid expansion, which would benefit Fairfield Memorial 10 times greater – or more – than her alternative, the governor instead is simply moving money from larger hospitals into the coffers of rural facilities.

This is the proverbial ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul,’ and eventually Peter is going to be just as strapped when it comes to caring for our state’s uninsured as Paul is now. Keep in mind, the Medicaid expansion has already been paid for by South Carolina taxpayers. Refusing the expansion only sends those dollars to other states.

While the governor’s alternate plan sprinkles crumbs on our own Fairfield Memorial Hospital, Fairfield County Council continues to find ways to alleviate some of the strains on the hospital. Monday night, Council passed second reading on an ordinance to rezone 3.76 acres on Highway 215 in Jenkinsville to help make way for a new primary health care clinic, a facility that will give patients a place to go other than the emergency room every time they get the sniffles. The County has zero dollars invested in the new clinic, and the facility is paid for and equipped with federal grant money. Yet, there were still some who attended Monday’s public hearing specifically to say No. Why build it here? Build it over there. What’s wrong with the one we already have?

Their arguments against the new facility should not be dismissed as merely petty, for they were not; nor did they appear to be rooted in some extremist ideology from the far Left or the far Right. Sure, everyone would like to have a first class health care clinic within a mile of their house, but unless the County figures out a way to erect about 1,000 such clinics in the near future, that’s not going to happen. If the Council and Eau Clair Health are to be taken at their word – and there’s no reason they shouldn’t – then at the end of the day this deal represented the best price on the best land in the best spot to serve Western Fairfield County.

While No can have a very valid place in our national and local discourse, perhaps it is time to consider the power of Yes for a change.

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