Sanford Health employees heard from their boss yesterday that they should get out today and vote against Amendment C. Sanford president Paul Hanson emailed all staff Monday and said requiring a 60% vote to pass ballot measures that raise taxes or spend $10 million or more a year “would significantly limit the power and constitutional rights of voters to bring change through ballot measures.” It also would endanger Sanford’s and other hospitals’ chances of finally expanding Medicaid in South Dakota:
Hanson addressed Amendment C’s relation to Medicaid expansion.
“Furthermore, Amendment C would put the SD Medicaid expansion effort, slated for vote in November, at significant risk,” he wrote. “Medicaid expansion is a critical initiative that ensures access to high quality health care for our patients and residents in all stages of life” [Jonathan Ellis, “Sanford Health Asks Employees to Vote Against Amendment C, Says Medicaid Expansion ‘Critical’,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2022.06.06].
Sanford has around 12,000 employees in Sioux Falls. Guessing wildly from the Sanford’s cited 47,757 employees systemwide and the fact that roughly 40% of Sanford’s locations are in South Dakota, I estimate Sanford has maybe 19,000 employees across South Dakota. If all of those Sanford employees go to the polls today and vote No on Amendment C, they would provide a about a third of the 59K worth of No votes above the usual primary election turnout that I estimate we need to beat C. If our other big hospitals’ bosses send similar guidance to their employees, Avera Health could turn out another 15,000 Nays and Monument Health could turn out another 5,100.
That would still leave us with another 20,000 Nays we need to turn out from folks who usually wouldn’t show up at the polls on Primary Day. Sanford can’t protect our constitution or pass Medicaid expansion all by itself; get out today and Vote NO on C!