Did you know that South Carolina law allows utility companies to force consumers to pay for billions in cost overruns for big projects like building a nuclear power plant? It sounds shocking, but the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) just published a report showing that SCE&G's VC Summer project has cost $1.5 billion more than originally estimated. And guess who is footing the bill? South Carolina consumers, many of whom live on modest incomes and cannot afford these additional costs. The law needs to change. Why should utilities like SCE&G even try and control costs on power plant projects, since the financial risk is borne by consumers and not the company? In addition, why is there no provision to allow for refunds or rebates to consumers if a project goes bad? With every passing year, as the VC Summer project grows more expensive, these questions become more urgent. Consumers should not be forced to continue paying their hard-earned money with no end in sight.
AARP South Carolina supports legislation to expand healthcare to seniors in our state. South Carolina is currently ranked 43rd in our nation for healthcare, and 33rd for supply of primary care physicians. Our state simply does not have the resources to support our growing population that needs increasing medical attention. House Bill 3078 will expand the roles of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), giving seniors more access to the medical attention they need. As the number of seniors in our state continues to rise, South Carolina will need more primary physicians to ensure all seniors have the care they deserve, and APRNs can provide that care.
There are currently 700,000 caregivers in the state of South Carolina. These caregivers are providing aid and support to family, friends or community members. The majority of these caregivers are not paid, yet their services save the state roughly $7 billion a year. Respite, or rest, gives caregivers of seniors and adults with disabilities a much needed break from their caregiver duties. AARP of South Carolina supports the Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging’s request for $1.6 million additional dollars to support respite voucher funding so we can ensure our valued caretakers are taken care of, too.
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