At an online announcement today, the South Dakota Emergency Medical Services Association and the South Dakota Firefighters Association said they support Amendment D, the initiative on our November ballot to finally sign South Dakota up for the big federal Medicaid dollars we’ve been passing up for nearly a decade since the Affordable Care Act made this assistance available, because it will do good for South Dakotans and the economy at little cost to the state:
[Sandy Frentz, co-chair of the American Heart Association South Dakota Cabinet for Medicaid Expansion]: “It delivers affordable healthcare options to people working hard at jobs that don’t offer insurance and brings our tax dollars back home to create jobs, grow our economy and strengthen rural hospitals and healthcare systems, as well as first responder services.”
…“Federal funding will pay for 90% of expansion costs, with the state of South Dakota responsible for the remaining 10%,” Frentz said. “Expanding Medicaid means South Dakota will save more than $63 million in general funds in the first two years alone as result of additional funding from [American Rescue Plan Act] programs. Medicaid expansion would also return more than $1.3 billion tax dollars to South Dakotans from Washington, D.C. over a five-year period” [Hunter Dunteman, “South Dakota EMS, Firefighters Association Endorse Medicaid Expansion, Citing Multi-Faceted Benefits,” Mitchell Republic, 2022.08.09
EMS Association VP Amy Marsh says those Medicaid expansion dollars will benefit everyone in rural South Dakota, not just new Medicaid enrollees, by keeping their rural hospitals afloat:
“Rural areas need Medicaid expansion to make it more likely that people will have a hospital and healthcare providers in their community that they can trust.”
With more options for local healthcare, Marsh said rural residents would no longer have to take “long drives” to receive care from providers in larger cities [Dunteman, 2022.08.09].
Viborg fireman and Firefighters Association president Charlie Kludt joined Marsh and Frentz to say, Vote Yes on D!
Maybe Noem can sabotage this endorsement by noting that first responders always run toward danger….
Update 17:19 CDT: The American Heart Association releases this video of today’s announcement…but they don’t allow embeds outside of YouTube, so you’ll have to click to view.