Meeting Minutes: Health Care Committee – May 1, 2017

Attendees: Chuck Bensonhaver, Steve Berque, Barbara Burgess, Jerry Cohen, Kevin Dunn, Inger Fyfe, Diane Widdus

We discussed the recent change in the House healthcare bill the Upton-Long amendment. This leaves the problem that the states can restrict coverage for pre-existing conditions despite the Republican verbiage of giving additional money for high risk pools. This program has not worked historically which South Carolina experienced under Governor Sanford as Kevin pointed out. Jerry noted that 4 rural hospitals in SC have closed because of funding issues; in addition to effects on healthcare delivery, the hospitals were a major source of employment.

Inger shared results of a group call sponsored by Appleseed Legal Justice Center and Families USA with other organizations similar to SIAN through the state. There were representatives from Columbia, Greenville, Florence, Myrtle Beach, Edgefield and Charleston, all of whom are working to defeat the Trump and GOP healthcare plan.

Steve encouraged us to work on increasing the state Medicaid program while  we still can in 2017. Steve also suggested that we needed to send talking points to the SIAN website so that members would be better equipped to make calls to their congressmen.

Chuck suggested that we find a way to get media and social network coverage about the healthcare bill and its pitfalls. It would be helpful to get personal stories; Steve shared in own nightmares about getting coverage when first coming to SC diagnosed with a chronic illness.

We discussed concerns about Congressman Sanford’s  responsiveness to the voting against the new healthcare proposals. Several of us have received a winded and obtuse response from his office attempting to cover both sides of the issue but saying that he would vote for it anyway. We sill need to try.

Submit call to action if House bill passes. Everyone to call.

Steve will find out what we can do about Medicaid at the state level. Steve also has submitted 2 pages of healthcare talking points. Inger will discuss having them on website at the steering committee meeting.

SIAN Contact: Inger Fyfe
SIAN email:



Posted in Health Care/ACA