H4927/S915: Executive Office of Health Policy

H4927/S915: Executive Office of Health Policy

Published Feb 3, 2024

Update 2/19/24

S915: Senate Bill S915, titled "Executive Office of Health Policy," is now on the fast track. It aims to create a new entity, the "Executive Office of Health and Policy" in South Carolina, supposedly to streamline health department operations. The official spiel is about boosting efficiency and service quality. In reality, it's a move to centralize control over health decisions, with the government tightening its grip. The most contentious part? The Governor gets to appoint the Secretary of Health and Policy, with just a formality of Senate approval.

PROBLEM: The Governor alone, with a mere nod from the Senate, wields the power to appoint this dominant Secretary of Health and Policy.

Introducing H4927, a bill born out of the previous session's S399, DHEC Reconstruction, which we deemed a bad idea for creating another state agency and increasing the power concentration in the hands of the Governor. Let's refresh ourselves on our review of S399 and why we thought it was a bad idea before diving into H4927.

Now, let's chat about H4927. It's a brilliant idea (note the sarcasm) to form the "Executive Office of Health and Policy" in South Carolina. This new office is supposedly to make health departments play nice together. The official line? Efficiency and better health services. The real deal? It's a power grab, giving the government more say in personal health choices. The cherry on top is the part where the Governor, with a nod from the Senate, gets to appoint the all-powerful Secretary of Health and Policy.

PAUSE: Who can remove the Secretary?

(Hint, the answer to this question is in the bill within Section 44-12-20: The Secretary of Health and Policy shall be the head and governing authority of the office. The secretary must be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, subject to removal from office by the Governor pursuant to the provisions of Section 1-3-240(B).)

But, please keep reading.

On Wednesday, January 31, during the Senate Medical Affairs Committee discussion on S915, which has similar language to H4927, Senator Corbin expressed concerns about the Governor being the only one able to remove the Secretary and proposed an amendment to S915 to facilitate removal by legislators for probable misconduct. However, the majority of the committee members did not agree, and Senator Corbin withdrew his amendment.

Back to H4927. This bill is basically a government expansion party, with a VIP pass for the Secretary to rule over health policy like Fauci. Didn't we learn anything from the pandemic's mess?

The proposal to establish a new executive agency and consolidation of various health-related departments under a single office is an expansion of state government. The concentration of such power should ring alarms about Left influence over health policy and administration, particularly if the process lacks sufficient checks and balances.

And oh, Section 44-12-40 – what a treat to read! The Secretary gets to play puppet master over the State Health Plan, regulations, and health policy. Plus, there's so much data sharing and administrative squishing together, it screams privacy nightmares and bureaucratic chaos. And let's not forget the power to pick advisory committees and department heads, turning health policy into a Leftist dream.

Seriously, this bill needs to be nixed, or at least gutted and rewritten to take the megaphone away from the Secretary and the Governor, and hand it back to the people. Because, you know, it's such a wild idea to let people make their own health decisions.

Call to Action:

H4927 is up for discussion by the House Constitutional Laws Subcommittee on February 6, 2024, at 10 a.m. Here is the agenda.

While reaching out to subcommittee members is standard protocol, don't stop there. Bombard your Senators and Representatives with your grievances against this dangerous power expansion. Insist on a response to ensure they commit to amending the bill, placing health decisions where they belong—with the people. If silence is your answer, persistence is your weapon. Remember, your voice is pivotal; without your intervention, the government will only expand, encroaching on your freedoms.

Learn More

Check out Jonathon Hill’s Bad Bill review and Palmetto State Watch’s recent article for the lowdown.

Jonathon Hill’s Bad Bill Sheet posting 12/12/24: The bill was amended in subcommittee with a voluminous amendment that adds an additional 75 pages of changes. Read it HERE.

SC Senate Passes Health Czar Bill, Sends To The House At Record Speed

Medical Tyranny: SC Legislators Fast Track Health Czar Installment

Bad Bill Sheet—February 19, 2024

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