Rep. Al Novstrup continues to squish around on Medicaid expansion:
Novstrup said there are three factors that will affect South Dakota’s decision about Medicaid — the presidential election, the outcome of the federal decision to fully cover Indian Health Services and the facts presented to the Legislature.
He did not say whether he’s in favor or opposed to expansion, but said each decision the Legislature makes to spend money ultimately takes money away from another part of state government [Elisa Sand, “Heidelberger, Novstrup Face off in District 3 Senate Battle,” Aberdeen American News, 2016.11.02].
Evidently Rep. Novstrup missed the memo from Governor Dennis Daugaard that Medicaid expansion is budget neutral: it saves at least as much state money in transferring Medicaid costs to the federal Indian Health Service as it takes in increased spend spending for the 91% federally funded Medicaid expansion. Add $1.383 billion in economic growth and 29,500 jobs stimulated by this injection of federal money, and you can understand why I’m far more direct in advocating our Republican Governor’s plan:
Heidelberger’s perspective on Medicaid expansion is clearer.
“We need legislators to take the lead and pass it,” he said.
Heidelberger said South Dakota has had the option for three years to expand Medicaid services. This expansion would cover low-income adults who don’t meet the income qualifications for private insurance on the open market.
“The governor’s plan is really, really good,” Heidelberger said. “It’s the best a fiscal conservative could ask for” [Sand, 2016.11.02].
Rep. Novstrup’s squishy resistance has denied South Dakota three years of economic stimulus and health gains from Medicaid expansion. That sounds like the real low point of a legislator’s career. No wonder Rep. Novstrup would rather fuss about religion and Sharia Law.