Since T. Denny Sanford’s dwindling wealth won’t last forever, we probably ought to expand Medicaid. The South Dakota Municipal League agrees!
The South Dakota Municipal League helped beat back the baloney that cranky rich guys and Republicans tried to use to sabotage Medicaid expansion with Amendment C last spring. Now, in its October newsletter, the organization representing South Dakota’s city governments reminds folks that expanding Medicaid with Amendment D will be good for South Dakota. SDML president, Rapid City mayor, and well-known Republican Steve Allender says expanding Medicaid “would return hundreds of millions of our tax dollars to our state, keep rural hospitals open, and provide affordable care to hard-working South Dakotans all over the state…. This will help our local communities thrive and contribute to an improved quality of life for all of us.”
SDML exec Yvonne Taylor says giving the South Dakotans who make to much money to qualify for Medicaid now but don’t get ACA Marketplace subsidies and thus still can’t afford health insurance is a “no-brainer”:
These folks risk more severe and life-threatening illnesses because they don’t have access to the kind of care that can help prevent that—leading to more people not able to work. And who pays for that more severe illness for the uninsured? We all do.
Medicaid Expansion isn’t a handout, and it isn’t a new obligation for the State—it is a way to transition from no health coverage for thousands of South Dakotans (where we all pay for the consequences) to an established system of health coverage for people who just do not make enough to afford coverage.
And it simply makes financial sense. Because of the split between what the State pays, vs. what the Feds pay, South Dakota would save more than $128 million in the first two years, and more than $11 million per year after that. And that doesn’t count the benefits of a healthier workforce [Yvonne Taylor, “Director’s Notes,” South Dakota Municipalities, October 2022, p. 4].
Hey, there’s a thought: maybe we can address the workforce shortage by making the members of our existing workforce healthier, so they can put in more hours and make more stuff!
Your local governments agree: expanding Medicaid is good for everybody. Help your local workers and your local economy: Vote Yes on Amendment D!