Americans for Tax Reform applauds South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for her fiscally prudent decision to have government employees share in the sacrifice and pay a slightly higher premium for their taxpayer-funded health insurance.

Like Paul Ryan, Gov. Haley is confronting facts and telling the public the truth. The cost of health insurance for South Carolina government employees has spiked by over $11 million in just the last year and Palmetto State taxpayers are on the hook for rising costs.

As Gov. Haley noted in the Charleston Post-Courier this week, “in a tough economy and with so much uncertainty coming out of Washington about our health care system, businesses across South Carolina have seen rising health care costs. And those businesses are faced, just like our government is, with two options to tackle those increases: 1) pay for the costs entirely on their own, or 2) share the increase with their employees."

In light of this reality, the State Budget and Control Board, at the request of Gov. Haley, voted last week to have state government employees, who have already been awarded a raise this year, contribute slightly more to cover the rising cost of their health insurance.

The same media outlets that have no problem with the trillions in higher federal taxes proposed by President Obama are crying foul over Gov. Haley’s modest and necessary action. Here it’s important to keep in mind that Gov. Haley’s move to increase government employee contributions would amount to less than $8 per month on average per employee.

More importantly, Gov. Haley’s move will save the hard-working taxpayers of South Carolina around $5.8 million per year. ATR applauds Governor Haley for this fiscally responsible decision and for her principled defense of South Carolina taxpayers. While the Obama administration is ignoring mathematical realities and refusing to tell voters the truth, Gov. Haley once again shows that Republican governors are stepping up to provide leadership on fiscal and budgetary matters.