SC Onward Continues It’s Weekly Protests
Two weeks ago, Gary Votour braved the cold mixture of sleet and rain, honoring his commitment to be at the State House in a show of support for repealing South Carolina’s Heritage Act. The weather discouraged participants, but did not dampen Votour and his group SC Onward’s perseverance. “We will be outside the SC Statehouse every week for nine weeks. Next week is our fourth week,” he states. The group’s focus primarily centers on three issues: the Heritage Act, Expanding Medicare and a show of resistance to Governor Henry McMaster whose proposals are unfavorable to the group.
In addition to a nine-week rally commitment, Votour and SC Onward will start encouraging participants to go inside the State House and request to speak with both Senate and House Representatives. They will also be releasing downloadable postcards for print for supporters to mail to legislators. Votour plans to post regular updates on the group’s Facebook page for supporters who cannot attend the rallies.
“On a personal level, I feel Medicaid expansion is the most pressing issue. As a Health Care Advocate, I know how important it is for low income people to have access to health insurance,” Votour states.
Folks unfamiliar with the Affordable Care Act, or how it works may not be aware that participants must make a minimum of $12,000 a year in wages to qualify for the tax breaks the program provides in the state of South Carolina – 1 person, the amount varies. This disqualifies a number of families in extreme poverty, elderly, children and disabled. South Carolina is one of the states which rejected expansion of Medicare under the Affordable Care Act, leaving people who either do not meet Medicare qualifiers, or generate income below ACA requirements in what is called a “coverage gap.” Current Governor Henry McMaster has indicated previously that he has no plans to expand Medicare for residents.
“Unfortunately this is the issue least likely to get passed into law this year. With a Republican Governor who would veto any attempt to do so in place, it’s not realistic to think that our legislators would move forward on this. My hope is that by this time next year, a Democrat Governor will be in office, and so we are planting the seeds in the minds of our legislators now in preparation for that,” Votour further states.
SC Onward Future Rallies at the Statehouse are scheduled as follows:
Wed 02/07 Repeal the Heritage Act
Wed 02/14 Expand Medicaid
Tue 02/20 Tell Henry No
Wed 02/28 Repeal the Heritage Act
Wed 03/07 Expand Medicaid
Wed 03/14 Tell Henry No
SC Onward can be reached via their Facebook page.
Featured Image “No Henry” candy bars courtesy Gary Votour and SC Onward.