We’ve passed up three years of the medical and economic benefits of Medicaid expansion; why not make it four?
Rep. Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, a self-proclaimed “maybe” vote, said he’s avoided the lobbying from the governor’s office and various groups so far.
“I’m not hearing anything,” Novstrup said. “I heard the arguments from the governor six months or a year ago, but nothing since then.”
Novstrup and Reps. Dick Werner, R-Herreid, and Burt Tulson, R-Lake Norden, said they’re leaning toward ‘no’ votes on expansion, but would prefer to bring up the prospect after the presidential election, if at all.
“I suspect that the program would look really different under President Trump or President Clinton. After November there might not be an option of expansion,” Novstrup said [Dana Ferguson, “Fighting for the ‘Maybe’ Vote on Medicaid Expansion,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.06.18].
Novstrup’s milquetoast maybe—no different from specious dodge cloaked in concern for Indians that he gave in February—is dunked in needless delay. We know Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act saves states and hospitals money. We know Governor Daugaard’s crafty Medicaid/IHS swap means we can claim all those benefits without adding one dollar to state spending.
We’ve waited. We’ve seen Medicaid expansion works. Al Novstrup, who wants to be Senator, refuses to show the leadership to back and enact a plan that is nothing but good for South Dakota. The only reason to oppose it is pure partisan pettiness: Obama did it, so we’re going to fight it!
And to suggest that we have to wait until after the Presidential election to solve problems is as partisan and irresponsible as our U.S. Senators’ absurd argument that they don’t have to do their job and hear Supreme Court nominees in an election year. We elect legislators to legislate, not watch election coverage on Fox News all year.
I reject that petty stalling in favor of doing right by South Dakota. We’re way past maybe. Call the Special Session, Governor. Twist some arms, and let’s finally expand Medicaid.