If Governor Kristi Noem is serious when she says that House Bill 1281 deserves her veto because it was drafted and passed in a single day, then she should be standing at the House doors today with her branding iron to nix a surprise spending bill from Joint Appropriations, which wants to suspend the rules at Veto Day and pass a new bill to throw another $20.7 million from Uncle Sam at nursing homes:
Lawmakers have already passed SB 60, which [Rep. Chris] Karr said contained approximately $10 million of state funds for long-term care on a one-time basis. He said the goal was to assist nursing homes until next year, when there is a recalculation scheduled regarding the Medicaid reimbursement they receive.
“This hasn’t happened for several years. We found out after session that those funds could receive FMAP (federal) match, which turns ten million dollars into thirty million dollars with federal matching dollars,” Karr said. “This would provide more benefit to those facilities until next year” [Bob Mercer, “With One New Bill, S.D. Legislators Await Vetoes,” KELO-TV, updated 2022.03.25].
This new bill seems harmless. Legislators aren’t trying to thwart public oversight; they simply received new information after passing this year’s budget adjustments and can conveniently use Veto Day to add these available federal funds to our current budget to do some good for South Dakota nursing homes.
Yes, socialized agriculture, socialized dairies, socialized cheese, socialized livestock production, a socialized timber industry, socialized air service, socialized freight rail, a socialized internet, socialized gas well remediation, a socialized water system and now a socialized nursing home industry are all fine with Republicans in South Dakota but then they insist single-payer medical insurance is socialized medicine.
There isn’t a nursing home in the state that doesn’t have a lengthy wish list for facilities and personnel which would improve their services to elderly residents and significantly improve their lives. We’ve “gotten along without” for too long in our senior care programs. This money would just give nursing homes a chance to catch up with many deferred projects, facilities and services.