COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina senator complained that Medicaid health care programs for the poor, elderly and disabled are like a Mercedes Benz as the Senate on Wednesday debated a $5.9 billion spending plan.

State Sen. Kevin Bryant, an Anderson Republican, said the state-federal Medicaid program makes people dependent on government and less likely to take jobs that offer worse health care coverage.

"When I look at the coverage offered by Medicaid versus any other health plan, I would compare that Medicaid coverage to a $100,000 Mercedes," Bryant said. "It's way more than adequate. It's way more than a safety net. It's not a hand up; it's a handout."

Medicaid, Bryant said, "almost forces the recipients to be dependent on the system instead of taking that job that offers coverage that's not quite as good."

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.