He said broadening Medicaid eligibility would cover more people and bring jobs and other economic benefits to South Dakota. It would also provide more access to care and bring in more revenue for the Indian Health Service, he said [James Nord, “Rosebud President Urges Medicaid Expansion, Collaboration,” AP via Sioux City Journal, 2019.01.10].
Our neighbors are seeing Medicaid expansion pay for itself, but let’s not hurry to help Indians. Instead, let’s default to knee-jerk anti-government tropes:
At a State-Tribal Relations committee hearing after the speech, Republican Sen. Lance Russell pushed back against the idea, which had been raised under former Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s administration but faces opposition from Noem and many GOP lawmakers.
“My concern with the Medicaid expansion is that you’re again relying on a government that has failed in the IHS realm,” Russell said [Nord, 2019.01.10].
Governor Kristi Noem, who somehow didn’t fix Indian Health Service during eight years in Congress, says she doesn’t like Indian Health Service or Medicaid.
South Dakota has the highest rate in the nation of low-income rural people going without health insurance, yet her State of the State Address Tuesday said not one word about helping more people get health insurance. The only health care services Noem mentioned expanding are mental health services for meth addicts. And her prescription for the tribes is to say that the two major federal programs we could use to help, Medicaid and Indian Health Services, are both bad and thus shouldn’t be used.