South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley refused, during a public appearance, to answer a reporter’s questions about e-mails her administration failed to provide the Post and Courier Newspaper, as required by the Freedom of Information Act in South Carolina.
The emails were released to the newspaper Friday afternoon in response to a Nov. 16 public records request to the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
The newspaper had made a nearly identical request of the governor’s office in May, but the office did not include the emails in its response.
Gov. Haley dictated the conclusions of a committee charged with deciding how the state should implement federal health care reform before the group ever held its first meeting, public documents show.
Now, some of those involved in the dozens of meetings are calling the entire planning process a sham that wasted their time and part of a $1 million federal grant.
In a March 31 email thread that included Haley, her top advisers and the committee member who eventually wrote the report, Haley wrote, “The whole point of this commission should be to figure out how to opt out and how to avoid a federal takeover, NOT create a state exchange,” which is eventually what happened.
A central part of the federal health care overhaul, an exchange is a marketplace where various insurance plans eventually will be sold.