The Legislature yesterday demonstrated its inability to override vetoes and impeach lying, lawbreaking killers, but it did manage to authorize spending $20.7 million more in Biden bucks. After Joint Appropriations identified some extra federal matching dollars that it didn’t include in Senate Bill 60, the revision of the General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2022, Joint Approps offered Senate Bill 213, a revision of the revision that pencils that extra money into the current Department of Human Services budget to help nursing homes.
The last day of Session is usually reserved solely for the consideration of vetoes. But no one opposed placing this new bill on the Joint Appropriations agenda, and the committee heard testimony in favor of SB 213 from Steven Kohler of the Department of Human Services, who explained where this new money came from. Kohler said that the Legislature’s approval two weeks ago of $10 million in state funding for nursing homes based on the number of Medicaid beds doesn’t follow the Department’s methodology of allocating funds based on actual claims and thus would not qualify for federal matching funds. DHS will now run that $10M through its actual-cost methodology, which will allow that spending to qualify for the federal matching funds for which SB 213 accounts.
Mark B. Deak, executive director of the South Dakota Health Care Association, representing nursing homes, spoke briefly to say please and thank you for making this “absolutely needed” additional federal money possible.
Under questioning from appropriators, Kohler explained that to disburse this $20.7M, the Department will review nursing home Medicaid claims from July 2021 through this March and back-reimburse an additional 20%. DHS will then tack 20% onto Medicaid claims submitted for the remaining three months of this fiscal year. On July 1, the reimbursement rate for nursing home Medicaid claims will fall back to the 6% increase over the FY 2022 base rate, as approved in the FY 2023 budget. This new federal funding comes with no new federal strings, since it simply brings this batch of reimbursements in line with methodology already in use for other claims that receive federal matching dollars.
Joint Approps sent SB 213 to the Senate floor on a unanimous vote. The only dissent in the Senate came from Senator Julie Frye-Mueller (R-30/Rapid City), who doesn’t want to spend money on anything. Over in the House, radical Republican Representatives Aaron Aylward (R-6/Harrisburg), Sam Marty (R-28B/Prairie City), and Bethany Soye (R-9/Sioux Falls) voted against free money from Uncle Sam to keep grandmas off the streets. SB 213 now awaits the Governor’s signature.
Senator Julie Frye-Mueller, Aaron Aylward (R-6/Harrisburg), Sam Marty (R-28B/Prairie City), and Bethany Soye (R-9/Sioux Falls.
Against free money for nursing home residents?
As John Prine once sang in Some Humans ain’t Human:
Some humans ain’t human, some people ain’t kind
You open up their hearts, and here’s what you’ll find
A few frozen pizzas, some ice cubes with hair
A broken popsicle, you don’t wanna go there.
In addition anyone who cares for the elderly should listen to “Hello in There” by the same great musician.
Well Cory, you have to consider their point of view. No mandates for people who work in nursing homes and that didn’t work. Starving the old or throwing them out on the street might work. They really like killing old people. It’s the zygotes they love. There’s a song there too.
yes, Janet, “Hello, in there” sums up being at the sunset of life very well. John Prine had a gift for recognizing people’s gifts and flaws and there iare more flaws than gifts among some of the folks in the Republican legislature. John Prine wrote human stories about the human predicament but “Some Humans Ain’t Human”.