Commentary

MY TURN:  Repairing Obamacare won’t fix our health care mess  

MY TURN:  Repairing Obamacare won’t fix our health care mess  

By Lynn Bailey, special to Statehouse Report  |  The most recent sign we weren’t going to fix our health care system was the flame out in the U.S. Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in July.  After seven-plus years of chanting “Repeal Obamacare,” Congress just couldn’t do it.  The reason is simple: health insurance is the WRONG way for a complex modern economy to finance and manage health care services for people!  It is a 70+ year-old business model which is no longer sustainable. 

The United States is the only modern economically-developed nation using an employer-based private insurance system with a parallel public health insurance scheme to finance health care.  Other developed nations have long recognized health as a public service sector requiring a robust public-financing mechanism. Some nations do use insurance but it is not like America’s. …

BRACK:   The General Assembly isn’t filled with policy Einsteins

BRACK:   The General Assembly isn’t filled with policy Einsteins

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |   The list of recent big policy failures by the South Carolina General Assembly is downright impressive.

First is transportation infrastructure, which got into a deplorable condition during the 28 years it took state lawmakers to raise the gas tax so it could deal with $40 billion of highway needs, potholes, bridges and deferred maintenance.  At least they finally boosted the gas sales tax this year to start fixing the problem.  But they’ll have to come back to it because they didn’t index the sales tax hike to inflation.

Next is the state’s pension system for employees, which rang in as a $24 billion problem.  A few years back, lawmakers decided to raise the expected return on investment to a completely unrealistic level.  As a result – and in combination with the Great Recession and a whole bunch of really bad investment decisions – the value of the pension fund sank like a lead balloon.

by · 08/11/2017 · Andy Brack, Commentary
MY TURN: Let’s clean up our state and become litter-free

MY TURN: Let’s clean up our state and become litter-free

By Sarah Lyles and Mallory Biering, special to Statehouse Report  |  Litter is a passionate subject. Either one is vehemently against it or one is decidedly apathetic.

Whichever side you lean on, it can’t be denied.  Litter affects all of us. While our Main Streets and interstates get cleaned regularly, our side streets and rural roads are continually treated as a travelers’ trash can. Whether litter is intentionally dumped or accidentally flies out of an unsecured or improperly covered load, it needs to be addressed in a number of ways. Ideally that timeline would involve enforcement of state or local litter laws, a citation to the guilty party, fine levied by the judge and finally pick up.

FEEDBACK:  Text of the week

FEEDBACK:  Text of the week

SENN:  Andy Im  just getting around to reading old newspapers. As you may know I have always been a Henry supporter. But to say that the female candidate “charmed her way into the wallets of republican businessmen” rather than she earned their respect enough to give her money is totally sexist! And here I thought Liberals were not supposed to be sexist!

by · 08/11/2017 · Commentary, Feedback
BRACK: S.C. has fewer hate groups, but maybe hate simmers more

BRACK: S.C. has fewer hate groups, but maybe hate simmers more

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |   Ten years ago, South Carolina was littered with real-life hate groups – 43, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama.  These days, the number is down to a dozen. 

At one point, South Carolina had the highest per capita number of hate groups in the United States, according to Heidi Beirich, intelligence policy director at the Center.

“South Carolina was a place where they had actual buildings – they had a store.”

by · 08/04/2017 · Andy Brack, Commentary
STEINBERGER:  Give supplies to teachers, schools

STEINBERGER:  Give supplies to teachers, schools

By Robin Steinberger, special to Statehouse Report  |  As the tax-free weekend approaches, parents are rushing to buy the needed school supplies required by each school.  

They want to save money on back-to-school purchases like clothing, school supplies, electronics and more. I taught in Charleston County middle and high schools for 30 years and spent thousands of dollars of my own money for supplies for my classroom.  Almost all teachers I know have done the same.

FEEDBACK:  On Brookgreen Gardens and sales tax “holidays”

FEEDBACK:  On Brookgreen Gardens and sales tax “holidays”

Ed Finn: “It is difficult for me to say that I loved one particular part of the Gardens more than any other though I loved visiting the island where stood Anna [Huntington]’s ‘Youth Taming the Wild.'” Also in Feedback: Dale Rhodes on sales tax “holidays.”

by · 08/04/2017 · Commentary, Feedback
McMaster, Bryant, McGill and Templeton

BRACK: Despite challengers, McMaster favored in governor’s race

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  After mentioning the lieutenant governor was probably going to jump into the 2018 race for governor, the guy – a well-educated professional with at least two college degrees – asked, “Who’s the lieutenant governor?”

“Kevin Bryant,” I replied. 

“Then who’s the governor?” he asked.

“Henry McMaster.”

“O.K.  I’ve heard of him.”

Therein lies the challenge for the growing field of Republicans with gubernatorial aspirations:  McMaster, while not brimming with strength, has buckets of name recognition …

by · 07/28/2017 · Andy Brack, Commentary