My Turn

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. …

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.

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.

BUHL:  Sales tax holidays may be good politics, but are bad tax policy

BUHL:  Sales tax holidays may be good politics, but are bad tax policy

By John Buhl, special to Statehouse Report  |  Sales tax holidays represent poor tax policy, costing states revenue while providing little benefit, according to a new Tax Foundation report .

More policymakers are recognizing this less-than-desirable tradeoff; South Carolina is one of only 16 states to use sales tax holidays for 2017, down from a peak of 19 states in 2010. South Carolina will offer a back-to-school sales tax holiday August 4-6. …

Most sales tax holidays involve politicians picking products and industries to favor with exemptions, arbitrarily discriminating among products and across time, and distorting consumer decisions.

Banks

BANKS:  Time for nonprofits to shake things up

By Charlie Banks, special to Statehouse Report  |  At VentureSouth, we have reviewed over 2,000 entrepreneur pitches and have invested over $20 million in 60 companies. Regardless of how many were worthy of investment, every one of them had several things in common: they intended to build a sustainable business and were also filled with passion.

by · 07/21/2017 · Commentary, My Turn
KIRBY: S.C. deserves better than proposed Obamacare overhaul

KIRBY: S.C. deserves better than proposed Obamacare overhaul

By Thornton Kirby, special to Statehouse Report  |  As CEO of the South Carolina Hospital Association, my friends and neighbors often come to me with questions about how the country’s health care system works.  The dynamics surrounding the cost of care and access are so complex that it’s easy to understand why so many Americans are confused about healthcare reform.

Watching Congress debate changes to our health insurance markets – and seeing the public’s reaction to those proposals – has led me back to two key observations about how we expect our country to work.  First, each of us expects to be treated fairly and equitably.  And second, although our country’s values are rooted in the protection of individual rights, I think most of us agree that we’re collectively better off when we recognize that we’re all in this together.

An oil drilling platform off of the California coast.

KNAPP: Time running out to protect the Atlantic Coast

By Frank Knapp Jr.  |  President Trump recently proclaimed that his administration is seeking “American energy dominance.”  The reality is we’re already there.

The United States produces more natural gas and oil than any other nation.  We do import about 25 percent of our oil needs, mostly from Canada and Mexico.  However, that’s only because we export about one million gallons a week of the type of domestically-produced oil we don’t want.  The U.S. is beholding to no other country for our energy security.

If these facts come as a surprise to you, then you are ripe for being deceived by those who want to use air gun blasting to explore for oil and gas off the Atlantic Coast. 

LACKEY: Actions speak for AT&T in connecting South Carolinians

LACKEY: Actions speak for AT&T in connecting South Carolinians

By Pamela Lackey, special to Statehouse Report  |  Many of us with Southern roots know well the phrase “actions speak louder than words,” for we heard it often from our mothers.

Momma’s wisdom is just as applicable today in the business world as it was in the backyard when she wanted to underscore the significance of keeping a promise her kids had made.

For nearly a century and a half, AT&T has been committed to bringing the best, most advanced communications services available. We believe that delivering for our communities and our neighbors is as important in today’s world of broadband and fiber optics as it was in the days of party lines and candlestick phones.